Scandalous Divorce in Agbara v. Okoji (2020)

Published on
May 13, 2020
Written by
Angel Murphy

For many reasons, family law is among the most challenging areas of law. Family law combines the coldly logical and deeply personal in a way that can only describe as unparalleled. When parties go through a divorce, they must comply with all sorts of procedural rules and formalities. And they must do that while simultaneously experiencing complex emotions – anger, regret, and so forth. Given this reality, we shouldn’t be surprised when we learn that people often use the court to vent their grievances. When they go through a divorce, in other words, they often let their emotions overwhelm them. And this ultimately shows up in frivolous motions, baseless allegations, and other inappropriate behavior. In the case of Agbara v. Okoji (2020), we saw this type of misuse of the divorce process precisely when a husband attempted to relitigate an already thoroughly litigated issue. Let’s go over the details of this critical case.

Facts & Outcome of the Divorce Case

In 2018, the parties of this case obtained a divorce. The divorce decree was ultimately based on the 12-month voluntary separation the couple had conducted. In Maryland law, couples can pursue divorce on different bases; one basis is voluntary separation. But there is also adultery, cruelty, and other “fault-based” grounds. Even though the divorce was decided on the separation, the husband wanted to obtain the divorce on the ground of adultery. As discerned by the court, his motivation was to exact “revenge” against his ex-wife for allegedly committing adultery against him. The husband argued that his wife obtained an abortion following adultery. And that he had photographic evidence (in the form of blood-stained material within their home) to substantiate this claim.Ultimately, the court rejected the husband’s contention and ordered a divorce based on the separation. The husband attempted to challenge this determination, but only after his allowable time to submit a motion expired. He failed to challenge the final judgment in time and could not challenge the specific issue of adultery within the case itself. Based on what transpired, it was apparent that the husband’s motivation was at least primarily concerned with “getting back” at his ex-wife rather than pursuing any justice.

Key Lesson: The Courtroom is Not about Personal Grievances

Although we know how impactful the divorce process can be and how easy it can be for emotions to become overwhelming, parties must remember that the court is about selfishly pursuing personal grudges. If the husband had gathered and taken steps to gain composure, he would’ve saved himself considerable time, money, and headache. He likely needed someone “in his corner,” so to speak, to rationally inform him about the faultiness of his decision-making and steer him in the right direction. He would’ve likely benefitted tremendously from the proper counsel.

Contact the Murphy Law Firm for Additional Information

If you’d like to learn more, reach out to The Murphy Law Firm today by calling 240-493-9116.

Angel Murphy

Personable. Passionate. Persistent.

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