Am I legally married to my husband, if he was still married to his first wife?

In a nut shell, my husband was married to another woman 15 years ago. He found out months later that this woman was still legally married to her first husband. The county clerk said my husband and the woman’s marriage was not valid but our was. Now I got a call from this woman saying a lawyer told her that my marriage to my husband is not valid because she is still married to him. Supposedly there is still legal document that states they are still married.

Asked on April 29, 2017 under Family Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If your husband's first wife was still married at the time that she married him, then his marriage to her was null and void. That means that in the eyes of the law it is as though it doesn't exist. That having been said, there are clearly facts that may change this. In other words, possibly this woman's first marriage had been legally ended before her marriage to your husband. If that's the case, her marriage to your husband is valid and yours is not. The fact is that at this point, you really need to consult directly with a divorce attorney in your area. They will need to review all documentation and after having done so, can best advise you further.

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