Is a marriage legal if the bride is already married in another state?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is a marriage legal if the bride is already married in another state?

I married on 12-29-17 to a girl and then found out that she got married in June 2017 to a guy in Arkansas. I am unable to get records of that marriage or divorce because I don’t have all of the required information to request the records from Arkansas. I was going to file for divorce in Missouri but not sure if I’m even legally married. Where do I start?

Asked on July 30, 2018 under Family Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot be married to two people simultanously, so the second marriage (yours) is not valid. But it does not "invalidate itself"--you need to seek an annulment to have the marraige declared void from the start due to bigamy. A family or matrimonial law attorney can help you do this.

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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