Bradley Allen Zielinski v. Jeannette Eduviges Zielinski

TEXAS COURT OF APPEALS, THIRD DISTRICT, AT AUSTIN NO. 03-18-00063-CV Bradley Allen Zielinski, Appellant v. Jeannette Eduviges Zielinski, Appellee FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF BELL COUNTY, 426TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT NO. 291.890-E, HONORABLE FANCY H. JEZEK, JUDGE PRESIDING MEMORANDUM OPINION Appellant Bradley Allen Zielinski filed a petition for bill of review in Bell County district court, seeking to vacate a two-year-old divorce decree and have the marriage annulled. He alleges Jeannette Eduviges Zielinski, his ex-wife, lied about her age when they met in 2000, inducing him into marriage so that she might gain permanent residency in the United States. The two divorced relatively amicably after fourteen years of marriage, with Bradley apparently still unaware of Jeannette’s actual age. Upon Bradley’s marriage to a second wife in 2017, he filed this petition, which the trial court denied after a hearing on the merits. We will affirm. BACKGROUND Although the parties disagree as to the details of their personal history, the general narrative is not disputed. Bradley and Jeannette met in late 2000 at Fort Hood, Texas. At the time, Bradley was a 22-year-old captain in the United States Army and, by his account, hoping to marry and start a family. Jeannette, born in Panama in 1963, was 37 at the time and had a ten-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. According to Bradley, while the two were dating, Jeannette maintained that she was born in 1973 and was 27 instead of 37 years old. Jeannette now concedes that she was born in 1963 and was 37 years of age when the two met and dated. Bradley and Jeannette married at a courthouse in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on March 10, 2001, with Jeannette listing May 17, 1973, as her date of birth on the marriage license. Bradley subsequently adopted Jeannette’s daughter and helped the two obtain permanent residency in the United States by serving as their sponsor before Immigration Services. Over the next several years, the couple tried to have a child together. Jeannette suffered three miscarriages, leading her to consult a series of specialists. In retrospect, Bradley now attributes the infertility to Jeannette’s advanced age—an age he allegedly did not know at the time—and avers that medical testing “showed he did not have any fertility issues.” Jeannette, meanwhile, attributes the miscarriages to the stress resulting from military life and from Bradley’s conceded infidelity. She describes Bradley as unwilling to undergo any further testing or treatment after his original lab results were negative and alleges she withdrew $15,000 from her own retirement account to pay for the costs of in vitro fertilization not covered by insurance. Bradley and Jeannette sought marital counseling and renewed their vows in 2007 but ultimately separated in 2010. Bradley filed for divorce in Bell County in 2014. The couple drafted an agreed division of the estate and the court rendered a final decree of divorce on June 11, 2015. That decree requires Bradley to provide monthly spousal maintenance of $1,217.10 to Jeannette 2 beginning April 1, 2015, and ...

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