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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13887
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my wife has filed for annulment based on the fact that I was married to another woman in a

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my wife has filed for annulment based on the fact that I was married to another woman in another Country. after she filed her annulment petition, I divorced my other wife abroad. would I still be charged with Bigamy?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I appreciate your patience while I researched and typed out your answer.


Yes, you could still be charged, because at the time you married your wife, you were already married. So, the fact that you later got divorced doesn't matter under the law. The statute specifically says:

Article 36.-CRIMES AFFECTING FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS AND CHILDREN

21-3601. Bigamy.


1. Bigamy is any of the following:
1. Marriage within this state by any person who shall have another spouse living at the time of such marriage;
2. Marriage within this state by an unmarried person to a person known to such unmarried person to be the spouse of some other person;
3. Cohabitation within this state after marriage in another state or country under circumstances described in subsection 1.1 or subsecttion 1.2 of this section.
2. It shall be a defense to a charge of bigamy that the accused reasonably beleived the prior marriage had been dissolved by death, divorce, or annulment.
3. Bigamy is a class E felony.

 

Now, if you believed that you were no longer married to the first woman at the time you married your wife, then while you could still be charged, you could also argue that as your defense.

If you need clarification or further information, you can always REPLY to my question before rating my service today.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
how can I argue that I believed that you were no longer married to the first woman at the time you married your wife? what about a divorce decree from a foreign country? and what about if my wife claims that this divorce decree is not valid and is fraud?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 years ago.
A divorce decree from the foreign country would be strong evidence that you believed that you were already divorced, yes.

If you were charged with bigamy, however (and to be honest, I think such charges are rarely filed) it would be the state, and not your wife, who has the burden of proving you were already married and aware of that fact when you married your current wife. Thus, if you presented a divorce decree and they believed it fradulent, they could try to present evidence that it was not a real document.
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