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Wednesday, June 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Wyoming Court Upholds Deathbed Divorce Order

(CN) - A Wyoming woman was properly allowed to push her divorce through just before she died, the state's Supreme Court ruled.

Roxie Kelly filed for divorce from her husband of 29 years, Ronald, with whom she had no children.

Ronald did not object in his reply, and Roxie, who had been hospitalized in critical condition, then asked for an emergency hearing to finalize the divorce before she died.

Roxie told relatives that she did not want Ronald to make health care decisions for her or to inherit her property.

When the trial court was unable to schedule Ronald for a hearing, it granted Roxie a divorce and she died four days later.

On the day Roxie died, Ronald asked the district court for a motion to set aside the divorce decree. The trial court denied the motion, and Chief Justice Marilyn Kite upheld the decision on appeal.

"Once Mrs. Kelly filed her complaint for divorce, nothing Mr. Kelly submitted would have changed the outcome with respect to the dissolution of the marriage," Kite wrote for the court. "Had there been a hearing, he could not have appeared and prevented the court from awarding the divorce."

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