If a person marries before their divorce is final, is the second marriage legal?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If a person marries before their divorce is final, is the second marriage legal?

When I married my second wife I thought my divorce was already final until I happen to look at the date on the marriage license and the divorce decree and discovered that the divorce was not final until 3 days after my marriage. Now I am separated and was wondering if the second marriage was even legal and if I have to file for a divorce from this wife.

Asked on September 13, 2017 under Family Law, Indiana


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Unless your divorce was final at the time that you re-married, your "second marriage" is null an void. In other words, legally it is as if it did not happen. Therefore, no divorce is necessary. However, to clear any legal uncertainties, you should file for an annullment just to keep things clear.

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