What can happen if you re-marry assuming that your divorce was final but in fact was not?

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What can happen if you re-marry assuming that your divorce was final but in fact was not?

I remarried out of state last year and thought divorce was final. It wasn’t due to technicality. Upon learning that, the guy and I split up. My previous divorce has now been finalized and I’m now filing an annulment. However, I’m errified that I’ll be charged with bigamy after the fact. I’m still separated from guy I married out of state. What do I do?

Asked on October 15, 2010 under Family Law, Colorado

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Seek help from an attorney in your state but I really would not worry so much.  You were never legally married to the second husband and you are taking the necessary steps to make sure that the record in the state reflect that. The Colorado Statute seems to allow for what is known as an Affirmative Defense to the charge, if you were to be charged, that you reasonably believed that you were eligible to remarry at the time that the marriage took place.  An affirmative defense means that you have a defense to the charge.  You did indeed believe so and as soon  as you found out that you were not eligible, you separated. Don't worry.  Good luck.


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