Can I legally marry the same spouse twice without an intervening divorce?

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Can I legally marry the same spouse twice without an intervening divorce?

When we married, I intended my civil service pension to revert to my wife at the maximum amount of 55%. Unknown to me was the requirement that this must be elected within 2 years of marriage. This window has expired. Must I get a divorce then remarry the same spouse just to establish a new date?

Asked on August 12, 2011 Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether you need to remarry to set a new date will be governed by your civil service rules. If the rules truly require, with no flexibility, that the election must be made within 2 years of marriage, you may need to divorce and remarry because you cannot legally marrry anyone--same spouse or not--while still married. While you could perform a religious ceremony if you wanted--e.g. renewing your vows--from a legal point of view, you cannot marry someone you are currently married to.

Before doing that, though, make  sure you check if you need to--contact the pension administrator and/or HR at the agency or department at which worked and find out if there are any eexceptions or any ways around this.


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