When a couple gets married, each spouse can usually safely assume that the other is not still married to another person. Marriage to more than one person is illegal in every single state, which is something a Dallas-Fort Worth divorce lawyer is likely to know.
A Fort Worth man was recently arrested for bigamy, after his second wife began looking into some unusual financial statements. The man had married his first wife in 2004, and began divorce proceedings in 2009. However, records indicate that the divorce was never finalized. He married his second wife the same day that he filed for divorce from his first wife. At the time of the arrest, the man was living with both wives in two separate homes 17 miles apart.
Under Texas state laws, in order to marry someone, you must not be in a still-existing marriage. An existing marriage may be ended through annulment or divorce. Legal separation, which often precedes a petition for divorce, does not legally end a marriage. This highlights the importance of making sure that all your bases are covered when working through the divorce process, which can be immensely complex.
Furthermore, the first wife in the Fort Worth case has filed for divorce. The first wife indicated that she was unaware of the 2009 divorce proceeding, and that the man must have forged her signature on the forms. This fact demonstrates how important effective, open communication is during the divorce process.
Both women in this case will likely have complicated family law issues through which they now have to sort. Illegal or deceptive behavior, such as what is alleged in this case, may be grounds for a fault divorce. This may have an outcome on the nature of the final divorce settlement with the first wife, since she was unaware of the second relationship or divorce filing.
Source: Fox Dallas-Fort Worth, “Dallas-area pilot charged, allegedly had 2 wives,” Oct. 18, 2012