HOUSTON - Imagine being in a fake marriage for five months, then getting a divorce, then being ordered by a judge to either pay $96,000 in spousal support or go to jail. Sound like a nightmare?
That's what Mark Athans is facing. After he married Charity Lee Parchem in 2017, he found out Parchem was married to at least two other men at the same time. Athans says that makes his marriage to Parchem invalid, and he shouldn't be forced to pay the $96,000 in spousal support and attorneys fees.
Parchem has been indicted on bigamy charges, but Montgomery County Judge Patrice McDonald has refused to consider that in her ruling.