Rep. Enid Greene took off her wedding band months ago. She officially dropped the man behind the ring Friday.
A judge granted Greene's motion to "bifurcate" her divorce case against Joe Waldholtz, legally splitting the 3-year-old marriage. Questions about child custody and joint assets will be settled later."I would say I'm glad to have this chapter of my life over. But I'm still concerned about my daughter's welfare," Waldholtz said after learning of the judge's decision.
Greene issued a one-sentence response through her spokeswoman in Washington. "As much as I needed this day to come, it's still a very sad day," she said.
The case is far from settled, given that the most contentious issues await resolution. "It's going to get ugly," Waldholtz said.
He hinted at upcoming disputes in an affidavit filed with the court Friday, complaining that:
- Greene has made it nearly impossible for him to visit his daughter, Elizabeth, who is now 9 months old.
- He can't even speak with Greene unless her attorney is present.
- He has no idea who cares for Elizabeth when the congresswoman goes to work.
- Greene and her family may continuously deride him in front of his daughter.
- Counseling might somehow salvage the marriage.
Waldholtz said late Friday he will "vigorously pursue" joint custody of Elizabeth, noting he planned to visit her again in Washington next week.
Greene's attorney in Salt Lake, Clark Sessions, said none of Waldholtz's allegations in the affidavit are believable. Greene has complied fully with a visitation order agreed to by Waldholtz several months ago.
In fact, Sessions said, Waldholtz is the one who has made visitation difficult. He broke a date six weeks ago when he was thrown in a Pittsburgh jail for contempt of court.
As to harboring any hope for reconciliation, Sessions said, "Joe and everybody else knows that's impossible."
Third District Judge William A. Thorne seemed to agree Greene and Waldholtz are beyond repair.
"I'm going to grant (the bifurcation) to give people a chance to rebuild their lives . . . and given what I think is the vain hope of resurrecting the strength of this marriage."
Future hearing dates on custody and other issues will be set within the next two weeks. Meantime, Waldholtz will continue to appear in a Washington court on check-kiting charges, which could put him behind bars for several years.