If my husband was still married to his first wife when he married me, is my marriage to him valid?

UPDATED: Sep 16, 2011

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If my husband was still married to his first wife when he married me, is my marriage to him valid?

They were married in NJ and we got married in NY. He denies being married to her but I found a copy of their marriage certificate. We’ve been separated for a year. I found out that he’s been buying life insurance policies in my name without my knowledge or consent, using his NJ post office box number. He listed himself as a beneficiary and my 2 kids are not on the policies. One of them is a high limit accident policy worth $1 million. I went to the local police station and they said they can’t help because we are married and it’s not illegal. I’m afraid he’s planning to kill me. What should I do?

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Okay you have a lot off issues to deal with here.  First, if your husband was married when you were married then no, your marriage is not legal.  It is void and he is guilty of bigamy.  What you need to do is to get yourself a lawyer as soon as possible and you need to file fr divorce - I know, you are not married why do you have to file?  Because you need the court to state that the marriage was invalid - and then you need to have the attorney help you get him prosecuted for bigamy.  If you know the names of the insurance companies that he has taken out policies with I would have the attorney advise them in writing that there is no insurable interest in the policies and that they should be declared void.  They will notify him.  And get an order of protection if you can.  Good luck.

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