If my husband married me but was already married to someone else, whatdoIdo?

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If my husband married me but was already married to someone else, whatdoIdo?

They married in TN; we married in AL. She never knew that he remarried. She only wants him to pay for divorce; they have no other ties.

Asked on October 28, 2010 under Family Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, and you  have our sympathy, your "husband" is not your husband. It doesn't matter what you or he want; if he was in fact married to another woman at the time he allegedly married you, your marriage was not and cannot be valid. It is legally impossible for one person to be married to two people in the U.S.; once married to one person, you cannot marry another unless and until the first marriage is dissolved by either divorce or annulment (or until widowed).

If he divorces her, he can then marry you; but you will have to get married at that time. In the meantime, you need to deal with many issues, such as inheritance (if he passes away before you, she, not you, would inherit as wife), power to make medical decisions, filing tax returns, etc. You should speak with an attorney to help the two of you protect yourselves in regards to these issues while dealing with the marital situation. If you believe that he deliberately "conned" you into marrying him while he was already married (i.e., it wasn't an unfortunate but innocent mistake) you may have a cause of action against him for monetary damages for fraud.


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