Former New York Yankee Chuck Knoblauch was charged in Houston yesterday for allegedly beating and choking his common-law wife.
According to prosecutors he was drinking heavily and on Xanax at the time of the incident, which occurred after Knoblauch returned from visiting his girlfriend. His wife, Stacy Stemlach, was attempting to keep car keys away from the former major leaguer, an assistant district attorney told the court.
Houston Chronicle (video included): Knoblauch was charged with assault of a family member, a third-degree felony. He was taken in to custody at court and was expected to make his $10,000 bail Tuesday, his attorney, Dan Cogdell said. Cogdell called the incident a dispute between two divorcing people and said charges were not necessary or appropriate.
“It’s a rough time for both of them and we hope to get this behind us as quickly as we can,” Cogdell said. “We sure it’s all going to work out in his favour when it’s all said and done.”
Knoblauch and Stemlach are the parents of a five-year-old and in the middle of a divorce.
The “common-law” aspect of their marriage piqued the interest of the WSJ Law Blog, which provides an interesting walk through of Knoblauch’s career and provides a short primer on the common-law marriage.
Yes, common-law marriage does exist in Texas – it’s officially called an “informal marriage.” It doesn’t just happen if you are, as one might say in Texas, living in sin. You must either sign a formal form or agree to be married and then hold yourself out as husband and wife and live together, in Texas, as such. The second option doesn’t stick if you do not officially prove it within two years of breaking up.
Texas is also a community property state, which basically means you’ll be splitting almost everything down the middle during the formal divorce proceeding you are required to have even if you never walked down the aisle.
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