Asked over 4 years ago - Mission Viejo, CAFlag
I "married" a man two months ago that I discovered is still not legally divorced from his other wife. The divorce is pending, but not complete. What options do I have and what are his legal ramifications? Is he committing a crime for which he could go to jail? Bigamy? Fraud? I realize my marriage isn't legal, but he sent away for a certificate which we now have (he lied on the license about his last divorce date). If I should forgive him and we remarry (or whatever it would be called), do we apply for another certificate, or will that trigger authorites since we already have one?
When and if your husband is validly divorced from wife 1, your marriage will become legal in California. No, you cannot be arrested for bigamy, but you should not hold yourself out as married on state and federal tax returns until the divorce from wife 1 is completed, and you may need to amend you tax returns for prior years - please check with a CPA (accountant) as to your responsibilities for taxe returns previously filed as joint. . No one really procecutes people for bigamy any more, so don't waste time worrying about that.
I would be more concerned about "forgiving" him for a lie that has serious legal issues - at least with respect to taxes and ownership of property. If he's willing to lie about the small stuff, he will lie about the big stuff and how can you build on that? I would suggest counseling and legal advice before you "marry" him again - because next time the court will say you "knew or had reason to know" and there are potential consequences for you under those circumstances.
Note that I am not licensed to practice in your state. This is not intended as legal advice. Please check with an attorney in your state.
The crime he has commited is bigamy. Your marriage is not legal. If you want it to be legal, you need to get married again after he has truly divorced his wife. Whether he will be brought up on charges of bigamy is an issue for the state prosecutors.
I am not licensed to practice in California. However, your husband has committed bigamy, which is a crime. In order for your marriage to be legal, you will need to remarry, after your husband has obtained a legal divorce.
It would be up to the State of California to decide whether or not they will file bigamy charges against your husband and prosecute the offense.
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