What are the legal implications of beingmarried toyour first husband at the time ofyour second marriage?

I was married at the time I married my current husband though I thought I was divorced. My current husband and I split up I moved to another state. During the time we were separated, he married another person. I have recently returned to KY and found out that I was not divorced from my first husband when I thought I was. I divorced him. How does this affect the second “marriage”; is it null and void or will I have to go through divorce proceedings for it?  Finally, how does all of thist affect his marriage to his recent wife?

Asked on September 20, 2010 under Family Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Someone may only be married to one spouse at a time. Any other "marriages" made while someone is legally married are null and void, with all the consequences (such as to inheritance, right to property, right to support, etc.) If a person deceived another into "marrying" them while the first person was still married to another, the second "spouse" may have a cause of action for fraud; however, if it was not fraud but a reasonable error, there is probably no recourse.

Of course, if the two people bought property together, that property may have to be divided up, but that's because two people each have an interest in it--the same could happen with two siblings or roommates.

So...if you were married at the time of your second wedding, that second marriage is void. If your first husband was still married to you at the time of his second wedding, his marriage, too, is void.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Someone may only be married to one spouse at a time. Any other "marriages" made while someone is legally married are null and void, with all the consequences (such as to inheritance, right to property, right to support, etc.) If a person deceived another into "marrying" them while the first person was still married to another, the second "spouse" may have a cause of action for fraud; however, if it was not fraud but a reasonable error, there is probably no recourse.

Of course, if the two people bought property together, that property may have to be divided up, but that's because two people each have an interest in it--the same could happen with two siblings or roommates.

So...if you were married at the time of your second wedding, that second marriage is void. If your first husband was still married to you at the time of his second wedding, his marriage, too, is void.


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