Do I have to still go through divorce proceeding to get my name back if my spouse committed bigamy?

UPDATED: Apr 2, 2011

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Do I have to still go through divorce proceeding to get my name back if my spouse committed bigamy?

I married a man 8 years ago. I found out had been married before in another state and never bothered to get a divorce before marrying me. How do I go about getting my name back? I don’t know the laws on bigamy but I figure it’s not legal.

Asked on April 2, 2011 under Family Law, North Carolina


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you are in fact correct.  Your marriage was not valid from the start because he was still married to his first wife.  But even though the marriage was not valid you may in fact have to go through some legalities to have the marriage declared void "ab initio."   At that point there will be no question that you can change your nae back to your maiden name as the paperwork should include a paragraph as t same.  But you should also check your marriage license.  Some states allow you to use either name and if that was the option you chose then you can try and change your name on your legal documents now.  Get help.  Good luck.

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