With the arrival of David Hastings to Harmony and his claim that he
and Grace are husband and wife. There has been a lot of speculation about
the status of Grace's marriage to Sam and whether or not their children
are legally theirs or if David is their legal 'Father'. While I am no legal
expert, nor am I studying the law, I do think I have an answer to this
First is the question of whether or not Grace and David were married to begin with. In 'Hidden Passions', there is about four years between the time Grace leaves home and the time Sam saves her from the fire. It is possible that during these four years that Grace and David met, fell in love, got married and possibly even had a child or two together. The Marriage License that was Faxed to Sam would indicate that this did happen. BUT.... DID THEY STAY MARRIED?
When I rewatched my tape of David claiming to be Grace's husband and his explaintion about his not having any proof. Two things stood out. One, David said that Grace left him, that he couldn't bear it if Grace walked out? walked away from him again. Two, David said the last time he saw Grace was when she left for Boston. The first comment made it sound like that Grace walked out on him, left him for some reason, not that she one day went to work and disappeared, like Martin Fitzgerald did. Perhaps he was abusive to her, or he negelected her and she left him to escape his treatment of her. Regardless..... David made it sound like Grace had left him. Then you have to question why David saw Grace leave for Boston and did not say good bye to her when she left for Boston. If my wife was going off on a trip, I wouldn't see her leave.... I would say good bye to her. I would do so at the airport, bus station, or train station that she was leaving from. Plus... I would know where she was staying and how to get in touch with her. David made it sound like he watched Grace leave, but never said good bye. Perhaps he couldn't, perhaps he couldn't because she was no longer his wife or they were in the process of being divorced at the time. Or Perhaps he only learned that she was leaving when he saw her leave on the bus, plane, train, or automobile. Did Grace divorce David before she left Hartford? Did she file for Divorce after she left and the divorce had not been finalised when the Fire occured?
In 'Hidden Passions', Grace was already living in an apartment in Boston when the Angel Girl warned her to move to the building that Sam was living, so that he would be there to save her. So Grace was not just visiting Boston at the time of the fire, she had been living there for some time and it had been a permanent move on her part. But, what had the Angel Girl warned Grace about that caused her to move when she did? Perhaps it had been that David was close to finding her. Remember that Tabitha was all set to destroy Grace when she moved, but it didn't think it would matter because her spell would work no matter where in Boston Grace lived, the Angel Girl would not be able to save Grace this time.
So Grace had moved to Boston and had been there for some time. A couple of months maybe? When Grace moved into the building where Sam was living, Grace had enough money to pay three months rent in advance and had lived there about a week when Tabitha struck. Where did Grace get this money? Was she working for someone, some company in Boston? Was she self employed or doing odd jobs and piece work to earn a living? How long had Grace been in Boston when the fire occured? We do not know and 'Hidden Passions' doesn't tell us.
What we do know is that Grace moved to Boston, for reasons unknown. That the moved had been a permanent move and that it did not include David. That Grace had sufficent money on hand, that she was able to move into Sam's building, paying three months rent in advance. Why Grace moved there, to Boston, has not yet been explained, nor how she was making a living while there, nor how long had Grace been living there. So it's entirely possible for Grace to be divorced from David prior to the fire, or she that had filed for divorce at that time and this could be the reason or one of the reasons for her moving to Boston.
David and Grace's marriage license could help to find some of this stuff out. When they applied for the license, Grace would have had to supply proof of Idenity and proof of Age. This would mean a Birth Certificate and the license could have 'Grace Standish's' Social Security number on it as well. With this information, Sam and Grace can back track some of Grace's past and perhaps discover that Grace had indeed Divorced David for some reason or another. Also it would allow them to start finding when and where Grace had lived in past, where she when to school, where she had worked and for whom. All Sam and Grace have needed was some proof of her identity prior to the fire. Tangible proof. Now they have it.
There is something else to Remember. Sam did not marry 'Grace Standish', nor did he marry 'Grace Hastings'. Sam Bennett married 'Grace Doe'. Following the fire, Grace has amnesia and this amnesia is Medically Documented. Meaning that Doctors have certified for the record and to the courts that Grace has no memory of her past prior to the fire. Then there is the destruction of the apartment house by the fire destroying all records of her past that were in her possession. The fire may or may not have been arson, but was not caused by Grace. The only way that they knew Grace's name was because of a scrap of paper with her name on it, that was found after the fire. The Boston PD, State and Local Social Service agencies and an appeal to the public were unable to discover anything about who Grace was, her name, her family, her past. So following these 'Official Investigations' and public appeals, the Boston Courts and County Clerks Office granted Grace the identity of 'Grace Doe'. 'Grace Doe' has her own Social Security and Offical Identity papers, with which she can get a driver's liscense, obtain employment, passports and become married. The names on Sam and Grace's marriage license are Sam Bennett and 'Grace Doe'. To the best knowledge of anyone at the time Grace was officially granted the identity of Grace Doe, she was not married and Grace Doe is officially, legaly, a single woman. This means that her marriage to David Hastings is no longer valid. This is because 'Grace Standish' or 'Grace Hastings' as the case maybe, no longer exists, not in the eyes of the courts, not in the eyes of the government. The woman 'Grace Doe' does and 'Grace Doe' is a distinct and seperate identity from who and what she was in her past, prior to the fire and losing her memory. While Grace Standish may have been married to David Hastings and could still be. 'Grace Doe' was determined by the courts to be a single woman and so Grace's marriage to David was nullified by a court action, a de facto divorce, if you would.
In Summary: Although Grace Standish may have been married to David Hastings. This does not preclude that Grace had divorced David prior to leaving for Boston, or that she may have filed for Divorce while in Boston. (David said that he couldn't stand it if Grace walked out on him again and that he only saw her leave for Boston, not that he said good bye her or took her to the station or airport when she left. Which indicates some sort of split between him and Grace.) Grace's Reasons for leaving and purpose in going to Boston have not been explained as of yet, which would shed even greater light on what really happened. However, after the fire... Grace was diagnosed with Amnesia and all of her belongings and proof of Identity were destroyed, leaving Grace with no "Legal Identity". Following Grace's Amnesia being certified by competant Medical Authorites to the courts and the conclusion of the 'Official Investigations' by the Boston PD and Social Service Agencies, which revealed no inforamtion about who Grace was prior to the fire and her amnesia, Grace was granted the "Legal Identity" of 'Grace Doe' and the "Marital Status" of 'Single'. It is as Grace Doe, a legally single woman, Grace married Sam Bennett. Therefore her marriage to Sam is legal and their children are hers and Sam's. Because Grace was legally granted this Identity and Martial Status, by the courts, Grace Standish no longer legally exists and her marriage to David Hastings is null and void. At least this is how I read the situation.
I could be totally wrong here.
But I do not think that I am.
What do you think?