WHARTON, Texas – The transgender widow of a Wharton County firefighter appeared in court on Monday to appeal a judge’s ruling that her marriage was invalid.
A judge recently ruled Nikki Araguz’s marriage to Captain Thomas Araguz was not valid because she was born a man, making her ineligible to receive $600,000 in her husband’s death benefits.
Araguz has been fighting with the firefighter’s family over the benefits ever since his death in a blaze at a local egg farm last year.
Thomas Araguz’s family argued that the money should go to the two children he had with his ex-wife.
According to attorneys, it’s likely that the $600,000 in benefits won’t be released until the appeals process is over, and that could take another year.