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Ask Thomas Swartz Your Own Question
Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3171
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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if went to court for my divorce, but my lawyer did not have

Customer Question

if went to court for my divorce, but my lawyer did not have the decree written up untill about 60 days later..since then it has not been signed by my wife or myself or the judge...the court has given my wife a new hearing. so am i legally divorced yet? and also my wife has question i have any criminal or civil case against my wife for bigamy?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 8 years ago.

You are not legally divorced until a court issues and signs a Divorce Decree (or possibly called a Judgment of Divorce).

How your wife got remarried before your divorce was finalized is a mystery to me. When she applied for her new marriage license she should have had to produce a Divorce Decree. So either she lied about her marriage to you when applying for her new marriage license, or she produced some type of document to prove the divorce.

Technically, she would be committing bigamy. But it would be up to local prosecutors whether they want to prosecute her for bigamy. You can report her, but it is not at all certain whether prosecutors will prosecute. As for a separate civil action, I don't think such an action would be beneficial as you would have to prove damages. But this new marriage you should definitely bring up in the new hearing granted to your wife.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
do you think it would hurt her case or what you think the judge wouls say. the first time in court she gave up custody and all her rights to our home and my bussiness. now she wants everything. she married an 18 year old kid who just got out of jail. she is 35 years old
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 8 years ago.
Yes, I believe it will definitely hurt her case as it shows a willingness to circumvent the legal process. Since she was not yet legally divorced, it shows the court that she is not willing to obey the court's orders.