If my husband and his wife applied for divorce 21 years ago but the annulment never was finalized and she remarried 12 years ago and we married last year, is our married legal?

He signed the paperwork and went to prison.

Asked on August 8, 2015 under Family Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the divorce or annulment (the two things are related but different: a divorce ends a marriage, whereas if an annulment is granted, the marriage legally "never happened"; the standards or rules for getting an annulment are stricter than for getting a divorce) was never completed or granted, the first marriage was still in existence. If the first marriage was still in existence, then subsequent marriages are *not* marriages--you can only be married to one person at a time, and cannot marry B if still legally married to A. You are advised to consult with a family or matrimonial law attorney: you may need to complete the divorce or annulment and then re-marry (so you can actually be legally married) afterward.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the divorce or annulment (the two things are related but different: a divorce ends a marriage, whereas if an annulment is granted, the marriage legally "never happened"; the standards or rules for getting an annulment are stricter than for getting a divorce) was never completed or granted, the first marriage was still in existence. If the first marriage was still in existence, then subsequent marriages are *not* marriages--you can only be married to one person at a time, and cannot marry B if still legally married to A. You are advised to consult with a family or matrimonial law attorney: you may need to complete the divorce or annulment and then re-marry (so you can actually be legally married) afterward.


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