If my wife and her first husband never got a divorce, are we legally married?

UPDATED: May 30, 2012

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If my wife and her first husband never got a divorce, are we legally married?

She told me this after I married her. He got remarried again and later divorced her. She calls him up at night after I go to sleep. She plans to change her name to get his social security. Neither of us ever paid any money in. We are both disabled. I’m retired on federal. Can she take my retirement?

Asked on May 30, 2012 under Family Law, North Carolina


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have a lot going on here.  If in fact your wife was still married at the time that she married you then no, you are not legally married. The marriage is considered void becuase she was not able to "contract" to marry you.  If you are not legally married then she can not claim your pension as a marital asset should you get "divorced."  Ypu should have the court declare the marriage void just to be sure.  Good luck.

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