If my husband never divorced his first wife before we got married, do I need a divorce?

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If my husband never divorced his first wife before we got married, do I need a divorce?

Can I marry someone else?

Asked on October 22, 2010 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The good news--so to speak--is that you don't need a divorce from a legal standpoint--that's because you were never married. Under  the law, someone simply cannot be married to two (or more) people at the same time; therefore, the man you consider your husband could not marry you--and you could not marry him.

That's the  law. If there is paperwork (e.g. a marriage licences; various tax records; etc.) out there saying you're married, that could cause you a problem if you try to remarry--not because you can't legally remarry, because you can, but because you'll be fighting official records saying that you are married. You should speak with a divorce attorney about the best way to just make sure that everything is taken care to leave you free to pursue your life.


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