MIAMI -- Venezuelan businessman Isaac Woginiak was married in a Dade County courtroom last year but an appeals court ruled there was a problem: the groom had already been dead and buried for two weeks.
The 3rd District Court of Appeal canceled the marriage.
It all began when Woginiak, 68, married Cecelia Kleiman, 37, of Miami Beach, in a Jewish ceremony performed by Rabbi Meyer Abramowitz in January 1987. Woginiak died of a heart attack March 10, 1987.
But the couple did not have a marriage license when they exchanged vows becausee to obtain one, he would have had to provide a certified copy of his divorce decree from his first wife in Venezuela. Woginiak never got around to getting it.
'That's the only time I've ever done a marriage without the couple getting a license,' Abramowitz said Wednesday.
He said the couple had more than 100 guests coming so he didn't want to call it off because of a 'technicality.'
After her husband died, Kleiman went to court to be certified as Woginiak's wife. Circuit Judge George Orr performed the marriage posthumously and had a court clerk sign for the groom.
Then the groom's three sons found out and contested the marriage, which the appeal court ruled this week was illegal. Kleiman is upset that the sons are trying to deny her a widow's share to the estate, valued 'in excess of $100,000.'
'They just want all his money,' Kleiman said. 'He told me he was going to make me his queen, and now I have nothing.'