If it turns out that my “husband” never received a divorce from his wife prior to our marriage, what happens to our assets?

UPDATED: Dec 18, 2015

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If it turns out that my “husband” never received a divorce from his wife prior to our marriage, what happens to our assets?

I was a widow and my deceased husband left me a life insurance policy. I remarried 2 years ago and I just found out that my current husband never obtained a legal divorce from a previous marriage. I purchased a truck and a fifth wheel travel trailer, financed in both our names. I used my money for the down payments. What I can do legally at this point?

Asked on December 18, 2015 under Family Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can't do anything: it's too late for the marital situation to be rectified, at this point. If he had a will and you are named, you will inherit what he left you; if the policy names you as a beneficiary, you will get the funds. If the vehicles are in your name as well, you will own them. Anything solely in his name will pass to whomever gets it under his will, if he had one, or to his wife, if she is still alive, and to any children that you and he had together, under the rules of intestate succession (who gets what when there is no will). Anything solely in your name remains yours. Unfortunately, if he was still married to someone else, your relationship with him, no matter how deep or true emotionally, had no legal validity.

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