If I thought that I was divorced so remarried but later found out that I was still married so obtained a divorce at that time, can I still get into trouble for bigamy?

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If I thought that I was divorced so remarried but later found out that I was still married so obtained a divorce at that time, can I still get into trouble for bigamy?

I was married 5 years ago and separated 2 years later. My wife sent me divorce papers which I signed and informed me of the court date but I waived my right to be there. Shortly after that date, she informed me that our divorce was final. I remarried last year and had no contact with my previous wife at all until 4 months ago, when my first wife called and informed me that we were still married. I immediately went and filled for divorcee and it was finalized about 2 months ago. She has reported me to the police department for bigamy even after I filed and got a legal divorce. They said that the case was in review by the DA. What should be my concerns here would the DA prosecute me since I did get a valid divorce?

Asked on July 11, 2014 under Criminal Law, Louisiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No you should be fine.  In the state of Louisiana the charge of Bigamy would not apply if at the time of the second marriage, you had a reasonable and honest belief that a valid divorce had been secured. Do you have a copy of the papers that you signed?  That would help. It may also calm your fears to speak to a lawyer and have one on board should the DA investigate.  And as an aside, I might suggest you remarry your present wife.  The marriage is not made valid by a subsequent divorce, meaning you are not legally married. Good luck.


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