Crazy Ex-Wives and DIY Divorces

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I divorce thee.  I divorce thee. I have my own printer and I can divorce thee any time I want.

In an unbelievable story of military love and betrayal, Staff Sgt. Zachariah Siemers allegedly invented a new way to divorce your wife in the military. The Army tanker may have bypassed the pesky court system and drafted his own divorce decree.

According to this story, the relationship was clearly over:

“Siemer finished his his assignment at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, moved to Kentucky and started a family with another woman.  While still married to his wife of 20 years Marla Siemers.”

The mother of Siemer’s four children was cut off from medical benefits and income.  She protested:

 “No one would believe me,” Marla Siemers said. “They just thought I was the crazy ex-wife trying to cause trouble or get money.”

As it turns out, she wasn’t the ex-wife.  That divorce decree is a forgery. It was allegedly authored by her husband, the man now living with his second wife and their two children at his duty station in South Korea.”

Marla Siemers says that until she got a lawyer, no one believed her story.  No kidding.  I’m sure the powers that be figured Marla was just another of the legion of crazy ex-wives that become part of every command.  It wasn’t until a copy of the fraudulent decree was obtained by the lawyer and “spoon-fed” to the Army that anyone officially took notice.

 “Zachariah Siemers was charged March 26 with seven violations of military law: dereliction of duty, making a false official statement, larceny, forgery, fraud by submitting a false claim, bigamy and adultery, according to an email from an Army prosecutor that Marla provided to The News Tribune.”

A few crazy ex-wives and ex-husbands will always be a part of military life–that’s what a generous benefits packet will do sometimes.  So I can understand the military inclination to disbelieve an outsider.  It is kind of like when medical students are told to look for the horse, not the zebra.  They are educated to look for the more common symptoms of diabetes or heart disease rather than some unnamed autoimmune disorder.  Same thing in the military: if the service member is squared away, it is easier to tack the crazy-ex-wife tag on the case. That saves time.

But not every ex-wife is crazy. Not every unlikely story is a piece of fiction. Marla Siemers story demonstrates that sometimes a uniform can blind even other service members to the truth.  If you are being treated like a crazy ex and your story is true, convince a reputable attorney first.  Then get ready for the long haul.

About the Author

Jacey Eckhart
Jacey Eckhart is the former Director of Spouse and Family Programs for Military.com. Since 1996, Eckhart’s take on military families has been featured in her syndicated column, her book The Homefront Club, and her award winning CDs These Boots and I Married a Spartan?? Most recently she has been featured as a military family subject matter expert on NBC Dateline, CBS morning news, CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Eckhart is an Air Force brat, a Navy wife and an Army mom. Find her at JaceyEckhart.net.

12 Comments on "Crazy Ex-Wives and DIY Divorces"

  1. Wow.

    It doesn’t surprise me one bit that the Army blew her off. I hope she gets justice, and that the Army redeem itself at least a little. That man is a disgrace to the NCO corps.

  2. Yeah its pretty redic they didn't give her claims the time of day. Outsider or not she deserved to be heard.

  3. I can relate because I am currently experience the same reaction from the Navy. I reported to my spouse's command his adultery behavior and lack or support. I have been treated like a crazy ex-wife and they do not believe anything I have told them. They have taken his word, which have all been lies. I have evidence and witnesses to prove his lies but no one has chosen to investigate.

  4. Currently, he is engaged and living with a female but yet we are still legally married. He obtained a fraudulent divorce behind my back and I had to have it set aside. He lied throughout the court decree and when the information was presented to his command they basically said there is nothing we can do. They made promises to investigate but never did. Basically my daughters and I was homeless and they command said, "Oh well we can't do anything about his lack of support."

  5. The military has a history of turning a blind eye to infidelity and adultery and they should not. It is written in the UCMJ and punishable. Why are they not applying their own rules and regulations??? Any Commander or military personnel that does not investigate and apply the UCMJ should be punished and relinquish of his/her duties. I am sure this would put some fire under them to investigate and enforce their own policies.

  6. This is happening throughout the military to spouses and nothing is being done. There is so much support to protect the military member but what about the spouse and the children? Where is the protection for them? The spouses that have been treated in this manner need to band together and push for reforms and laws that protect the spouse. Spouses and family members make so many sacrifices and to be treated in this manner is a disgrace. This issue needs to be brought to the forefront and publicized.

  7. The problem is really the crazy ex wives. It's sad to hear stories like this but for every one of these there's 10 women calling the CO twice a week about frivolous stuff. The command starts to turn a blind eye after awhile.

  8. Diane, that's all fine and dandy but do you have ANY idea how hard it actually is to put someone out of the military for adultery…next to impossible. My husband has tried twice in the past year and legal blew him off both times, one of them also had a fake divorce document but the thing is, there is NO financial benefit, therefore no fraud case.

    Also, without a COURT ORDER from a civilian attorney (since divorce is a civil matter) there is nothing they can really do to force him to support you…it sucks but that's the way it is. It is kind of like going to your ex's boss at GM and demanding that GM pay you simply for being married. The military can't force someone to pay someone else without a legal document, which can only be obtained through your Civilian lawyer.

  9. Unfortunately this kind of behavior happened to my daughter as well. Her husband began lying to his command, his friends, his associates long before my daughter knew anything was wrong. They are both Navy service members and while he was stationed on base, she was assigned to a ship which he was fully aware of when they dated and later married, which was his idea. Four months later he was cheating on her, impregnated the mistress and then decided to divorce my daughter. All of her hard earned money that was used to help make home improvements, buy appliances, etc., even purchasing a purebred dog, GONE ! She got absolutely nothing but her personal clothes and belongings. He has everything else the whole house , a new wife and a new son. That man came with a lot of baggage that unfortunately my daughter wasn't told by him, or he lied to her , which is probably the case since he is a compulsive liar, a very convincing one at that. At least she is free with HER good reputation intact and we as her family & his also still support HER !

  10. THERE IS EVERYTHING IN THIS LIFE. I WANT TO BE BRIEF BECAUSE I TOO HAVE BEEN ABUSED BY A CASE SIMILAR BUT THE STORY CHANGES WHEN BECAUSE I HAVE SPENT 26 YEARS OF MY LIFE WITH A SUPER BEING PREPARED UNDER THE MILITARY SERVICE AND HAS THE WAY MORE CRUEL FOR HAVING ADOPTED A CIRCLE MALTRATANTE AND EMOTIONALLY TO BE THAT THANKS TO MY YOU GAVE BRONZE MEDALS AND ALL THE MMEJOR. THESE CASES ARE FREQUENT INFIDELITY AS IN MY CASE. WE LIVE WILL THE MILITARY BUT LAW TO THE TAKE THE DECISION TO WITHDRAW I BROUGHT TO PUERTO RICO BECAUSE HERE DO NOT HAVE ANY KIND OF JURIDICCION UNDER THE MILITARY. THAT NICE AH…WAOOO BUT I IS THAT ALTHOUGH TODAY TOOK 9 MONTHS DIVORCED AND THE LAWYERS IN PUERTO RICO ARE NOT PREPARED FOR THESE CASES THERE IS A GOD IN HEAVEN THAT I DARA MY MONEY TO THE TIME OF THE. BECAUSE UNTIL TODAY THE SUN EAST MAN WHO WAS MY HUSBAND SAYS QUE NO TE TOCA NADA…Very nice.

  11. My husband, Navy Seal and I were married 9 years. Last year I found out my husband was soliciting women and couples on Craig List. Needless to say, we are seperated. I was not working at the time and had a 8 month old baby. The Navy did nothing to help me. My husband cleaned out our bank account and left me with no money and no where to go.

  12. Sorry :-( After 23 yrs I have gone thru a 'D'. Military doesn't and won't ever support the spouse. They will side and believe the military soldier no matter what! As far as spouses, we are always at 'fault.'

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