Court of Appeals: Jorge L. Ramirez (Jorge) appeals from a judgment annulling his second marriage to Lilia Llamas (Lilia), following a bifurcated trial in which the court found the marriage void due to fraud. The trial court found the first marriage between Jorge and Lilia was a void attempt at a Mexican marriage performed in California. It found the second marriage void because of fraud, relating to the fact Jorge married Lilia even though prior to the second marriage he had begun a love affair with Lilia’s sister that he intended to continue. Jorge appeals the judgment of nullity, and the finding that Lilia was a putative spouse. We affirm.
Jorge, an immigrant from the State of Michoacán, Mexico, lived in the United States and sought legal residence here. His mother was a permanent resident and sponsored Jorge in his application for that status. He began his application process in 1994 or 1995 but because his mother was not a citizen herself, the process took many years.
In 1999, Jorge and Lilia were married in a religious ceremony in Moreno Valley, California. The ceremony was performed by a priest or other official from the State of Jalisco, Mexico, and an “Acta de Matrimonio” was issued. No marriage license was issued by the State of California. In 2001, Jorge and Lilia became aware that the 1999 marriage was invalid because Lilia’s prior divorce had not been final for 300 days prior to the marriage. Additionally, because it was made to look as though the parties were married in Mexico, the Mexican marriage certificate would prevent Jorge from getting his green card because it would make it appear that he had not been in continuous residence in the United States.
The parties were remarried in 2001 and obtained a confidential marriage license. After the death of Jorge’s mother, Lilia assumed the position as Jorge’s sponsor to pursue his application for permanent residence and citizenship. In 2004, after she signed a document related to his immigration status, Jorge informed Lilia that it would be the last one. Two weeks later, in May 2004, he took Lilia out to dinner and asked for a divorce because he was in love with someone else and always had been. In June 2004, Jorge moved out.
That same month, Lilia found out who the other woman was when she overheard a conversation between Jorge and Lilia’s sister Blanca. Jorge had begun an affair with Blanca prior to the 2001 marriage, and it lasted until 2005. The intercepted conversation occurred in 2005. Lilia asked her teenaged son Victor to call Blanca, who babysat for Jorge and Lilia’s daughter, on her cell phone to inquire if she would be joining them for lunch with the child. Blanca, at a restaurant with Jorge, had the cell phone in her purse. Instead of pressing the stop key, she pressed the button to answer the call, so the conversation she was having with Jorge was overheard on Victor’s cell phone, which Lilia and Victor listened to by activating the loudspeaker. In this conversation, Jorge professed his love for Blanca, assured her that they would be together once he got his share of money and property from Lilia, *755 and told her that he had only married Lilia to gain permanent resident status. This conversation occurred after Jorge had moved out…
The court also found the second marriage was void because Jorge perpetrated a fraud on Lilia by carrying on an extramarital affair with Blanca. The court found that Jorge did not marry Lilia because he was worried about his immigration or work status; instead, the court found Jorge made false statements to Blanca about his reasons for marrying Lilia, including a need for a green card, to string her along and to delay having to make a commitment to her. Thus, the fraud related to Jorge’s marrying Lilia while carrying on a sexual relationship with Blanca which he intended to maintain. The court concluded Jorge wanted to “have his cake and eat it too” by carrying on sexual relationships with both women at the same time.