Do I need to get divorced if I married an illegal alien who was already married in his own country?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I need to get divorced if I married an illegal alien who was already married in his own country?

About 14 years ago, I married my Mexican husband who was here illegally. A justice of the peace married us. After we married I found out that he was already legally married in Mexico. It was a brief marriage but he never filed for divorce. We stayed married for many years even after I found out. Now we have separated permanently. Do I have to get a divorce still?

Asked on August 2, 2016 under Family Law, Texas


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Foreign marriages are recognized in the U.S. Therefore, in the eyes of our law, your husband was already a married man at the time of your wedding. Accordingly, your "marriage" is null and void. In other words, it is as though it never took place. therefore, there is no need for a divorce. That having been said, you should at least get an annullment as this will clarify any legal issues relating to the "marriage".

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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