Bigamy is "formally entering into a marriage while the previous one is un-dissolved". So that if one spouse remains married, and tries to enter into a second marriage, this is considered bigamous and the second marriage is declared void and grounds for an annulment. Therefore, one who knowingly enters into a bigamous marriage is guilty of the crime of bigamy. In practice however, bigamy is seldom prosecuted unless it is part of a fraudulent scheme to get another’s property or to commit some other felony.
In most cases, people commit bigamy accidentally with the belief that a prior marriage is dissolved. The following are examples of accidental bigamy when bigamy has not been committed:
In 1878, the
Hawaii (petty misdemeanor -- 30 days in jail)
Rhode Island (misdemeanor, $1,000)
If you have reason to believe that your divorce is not final or suspect that your fiancee is still married, you may want to secure that information before thinking about marriage. A family attorney may assist you with your divorce and advise you of your rights and the opportunity when you can remarry.
Last Modified: 04-11-2018 08:26 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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