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Who is the victim in the crime of bigamy?

Reno, NV |

My husband and I have been separated for 3 years, however, we've remained in constant communication during the entire time. He recently married someone else and lied on his application for a marriage license - either the date of divorce (N/A) or he omitted our marriage altogether. What exactly is his crime and who is the victim legally?

My goal is to use this as an opportunity to ask him to sign over his parental rights to our only child - something that he's already done twice before in a previous marriage. I know that child support is unrealistic and not worth the effort. Fortunately we have no other shared assets and if he agrees, we can go to court as two individual people with nothing held jointly. If you can answer a further question, do I have as much legal leverage as I think I do?

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Attorney answers 4


The victim is you.


The other woman could be considered a victim, depending on what she knew, and you certainly are a victim.

Disclaimer: This answer is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice or forming the attorney-client relationship.


Society at large is the victim as well. The public records get muddled by bigamy causing problems for taxation, intestate succession, welfare, insurance claims, social security, ownership of real (or titled) property, etc. One spouse at a time keeps the records much more in order. When the records ate confused, you could be denied your rights and then have to pay a lot in attorneys fees to fix the problem. You may contact the prosecutors office where you live or you may have the second marriage annulled, get divorced, and then he can marry whomever.


Bigamy is a crime, not a grounds for divorce.

The legal fallout is that the second "marriage" is void "ab initio," and he remains married to you. In 30 years, I have never seen the State actually prosecute anyone for bigamy. His new "wife" could seek partition of nay property accrued and possibly damages for fraud -- complicated by the fact that under Nevada law, separation is irrelevant and each of you has a property claim on any assets accrued by the other, at the same time.

You can ask for relinquishment of parental rights; you should confer with counsel as to whether child support is truly "unrealistic." it might be better to simply request sole physical and legal custody and leave the possible hook of child support in place.

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