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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33069
Experience:  16 yrs. of experience including family law.
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My dad married a lady in Missouri january 21, 1981 he divorced

Customer Question

My dad married a lady in Missouri january 21, 1981 he divorced my mom on january 4, 1981 in Illinois where we all live. This lady my dad married was already married to a man in the state of illinois in 1973 she just divorced this man 2008 in illinois.
I dont believe my dad was aware of this. This lady has a history of making documents, forging signatures, etc which could have easily been done back in those days-we believe the marriage never took place in Missouri and the license could be a forged.
in illinois there is a law that says if you marry a person and the person is already married when that person divorces then the marriage still in existance (which is my dad's) it is then considered legal
what can we do to prove this marriage in not legal? how do we prove the document is not legal? where does bigamy play in this
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

What you describe (dad marring someone who is married to someone else) is called a "voidable" marriage. That is, dad would be able to go to court to have the marriage "void" due to this mistake. This is sometimes referred to as an "annulment".

Bigamy is a criminal act that involves marriage to more than one person at the same time. If dad knew knew she was married to another person? But married her regardless? That is Bigamy. In fact, here is the statute for MO

An unmarried person commits the crime of bigamy if he

(1) Purports to contract marriage knowing that the other person is married; or

(2) Cohabits in this state after a bigamous marriage in another jurisdiction.

Bigamy is a class A misdemeanor.

SO if dad had no knowledge of her marriage (that she was married) he is not guilty of bigamy. But she WOULD be if she tricked him into the marriage.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
sorry this does not answer my questions
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 5 years ago.
OK. So do you have a question?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My questions were how do we prove the document is not legal, nor the marriage, and where does bigamy fit in - meaning with the law in illinois saying to marry one person while married to another when a divorce takes place - thus leaving the second marriage (my dad's) still intact.

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