If you find out your spouse is a bigamist, is your married legal?

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If you find out your spouse is a bigamist, is your married legal?

My sister found out the man she married already has a wife and 2 kids. They reside in NY. His first marriage occured in India. Is my sisters marriage legal? What should she do?

Asked on September 22, 2010 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for her.  No, her marriage is not legal.  The law does not recognize the validity of two marriages entered in to simultaneously.  The marriage is void under New York Law.  In fact, your "brother-in-law" can be charged with a Class E Felony in New York.  What your sister needs to do is to seek out the counsel of an attorney in the area to discuss the matter in detail if she and he own property together or have children together, etc.  Sometimes, even though the marriage is void, you may wna t an order of the court declaring it as such for legal reasons. Good luck.


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