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FamilyAnswer
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Category: Family Law
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Experience:  7 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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I thought I was married on February 12, 1996. But just recently

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I thought I was married on February 12, 1996. But just recently found out when we were married my husband was still married. He didn't intend on getting a divorce with the other spouse until the 2nd wife filed for divorce. The divorce was final February 28, 1996 (16 days later) thanks to the 2nd wife. However we were already married in Toronto Canada. 2nd wife marriage was in Florida. I went for 17 years thinking our marriage was legal and find out it's not. Is he A.) Considered a bigamist? B.) Should I report? C.) Should I get an annulment or divorce as I see there are differences. D.) All the above? I was told by our local police that there's a staute of limitations for Florida. I haven't found this as of yet & I just found out about our marriages thanks to the 2nd wife. Thank you for any and all help.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Below is the Florida statute that controls in relation to bigamy. It is a crime and up to the State of Florida to prosecute, if they so desire. You have every legal right to report this and let them take action. An action for the annulment of a marriage differs from a dissolution of marriage proceeding in that the latter is instituted to sever a marriage relation admitted to exist, while an annulment proceeding is for the purpose of declaring judicially that because of some disability that existed at the time of the marriage ceremony a valid marriage did not take place. An annulment follows the same procedure as other actions governed by the Family Law Rules. The grounds for the action, defenses and property rights are governed by substantive law. The petition must show the purported marriage and the grounds for its invalidity. In an action for an annulment, the court may dispose of property jointly owned by the parties. If there was no valid marriage, no estate by the entirety is created and the parties should be considered as tenants in common.
Although generally permanent alimony is not awarded where the marriage of the parties is annulled, in cases in which a spouse is an innocent victim of the other spouse's wrong, a court may allow permanent alimony and attorney's fees in order to do equity.
A court has the power in an annulment proceeding to dispose of matters relating to the custody and maintenance of the children of the parties. As such, it may be better to seek to have the marriage annulled, instead of proceeding with a divorce, so the record is clear and it is possible with the assets and debts that have been acquired during the relationship, you could obtain a more favorable outcome, when they are divided by the Judge, assuming you and him can not agree.

CHAPTER 826
BIGAMY; INCEST
826.01 Bigamy; punishment.
826.02 Exceptions.
826.03 Knowingly marrying husband or wife of another.
826.04 Incest.
826.01 Bigamy; punishment.—Whoever, having a husband or wife living, marries another person shall, except in the cases mentioned in s. 826.02, be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.—s. 4, sub-ch. 8, ch. 1637, 1868; RS 2603; GS 3526; RGS 5416; CGL 7559; s. 775, ch. 71-136; s. 44, ch. 74-383; s. 30, ch. 75-298.
Note.—Former s. 799.01.
826.02 Exceptions.—The provisions of s. 826.01 shall not extend to any person:
(1) Who reasonably believes that the prior spouse is dead.
(2) Whose prior spouse has voluntarily deserted him or her and remained absent for the space of 3 years continuously, the party marrying again not knowing the other to be living within that time.
(3) Whose bonds of matrimony have been dissolved.
(4) Who violates its provisions because a domestic or foreign court has entered an invalid judgment purporting to terminate or annul the prior marriage and the defendant does not know that judgment to be invalid.
(5) Who reasonably believes that he or she is legally eligible to remarry.
History.—s. 5, sub-ch. 8, ch. 1637, 1868; RS 2604; s. 1, ch. 4963, 1901; GS 3527; RGS 5417; CGL 7560; s. 1, ch. 73-300; s. 45, ch. 74-383; s. 1280, ch. 97-102.
Note.—Former s. 799.02.
826.03 Knowingly marrying husband or wife of another.—Whoever knowingly marries the husband or wife of another person, knowing him or her to be the spouse of another person, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.—s. 39, Feb. 10, 1832; RS 2605; GS 3528; RGS 5418; CGL 7561; s. 776, ch. 71-136; s. 46, ch. 74-383; s. 30, ch. 75-298.
Note.—Former s. 799.03.
826.04 Incest.—Whoever knowingly marries or has sexual intercourse with a person to whom he or she is related by lineal consanguinity, or a brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece, commits incest, which constitutes a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. “Sexual intercourse” is the penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ, however slight; emission of semen is not required.
History.—s. 47, ch. 74-383; s. 30, ch. 75-298; s. 1281, ch. 97-102.

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FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16228
Experience: 7 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
FamilyAnswer and 12 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.
Hi Leslie. I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I went to the state attorney in my area & he said because of the statue of limitations & something about it being a no-fault state that I could not claim it as bigamy but I don't believe that's true I believe that you need to locate the correct state attorney. Now are there different state attorneys in it each division in Florida? And would I have to also just stay in my jurisdiction which would be Monroe or Dade county. Or do u just need to locate any state attorney? Also we were married in Toronto Canada & I spoke to an attorney there & he said bigamy is bigamy. I wonder if I could bring that state side? I'm not out for a vendetta just the truth. If it can't be done so be it. But I will try my sincerest.
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.
It would likely need to be filed in the county where you and he reside. Remember, it is a crime against the State of Florida and the State Attorney has the discretion to file charges and use the State resources to prosecute.

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