A friend of mine, a US naturalized citizen, his wife, a US naturalized citizen, lives in the US, want to travel abroad and get married to another woman while remaining in the current marital relationship. If he does so, is he likely to be prosecuted for polygamy upon his return to the US? What if his first wife complains to the authorities, for example, the USCIS? And, if he chooses not to return would he still be prosecuted for practicing polygamy (abroad) ?
He is not going to be prosecuted for practicing polygamy in a country where it is legal. If he brings both spouses to the US and one complains, he could very well be prosecuted for bigamy. If, in the USA, there are children and the authorities become aware of the situation, it is possible that there would, in addition, be action to remove the children from the home.
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A person can only be prosecuted for the acts committed within the jurisdiction. So whatever acts your friend does in, lets say Canada, won't be prosecuted by the US government. However, you must abide by the laws of the land. So if he comes back with 2 wives then he can be prosecuted for bigamy.
Federal law prohibits an American citizen or resident to travel to a foreign country with intent to engage in any form of sexual conduct with a minor (defined as persons under 18 years of age). If this other person is a minor, your friend will have problems. See: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ceos/extraterritorial-sexual-exploitation-children . Your friend will want to make sure that he or she is in compliance with the laws of whatever country he or she is in. Any reason why your friend and his wife can't just carry on a relationship with this other woman without it becoming a marriage?
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