Family Law Blog

What Happens If I Remarry Before My Divorce is Final?

Friday, April 27, 2018

In most divorce cases, remarriage isn't exactly a problem. Your divorce lawyer will advise you against even dating until the ink is dry on your final divorce papers. So in these cases, remarriage probably won't be an issue since it is likely you don't have a lot of prospects lined up. However, if you were married and your spouse disappeared, will you be forced to be married to them forever if you can't find them?

Some might feel that a marriage doesn't exist if they have not seen their spouse for years and might decide to marry again. However, if they do turn up, this will be classified as bigamy. In California, this is punishable with up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine. Obviously, that is something that you don't wish to suffer through.

Various circumstances can result in you entering a bigamous relationship, so what do you do then? In these cases, the most common defense is the claim that you haven't seen your first spouse for at least five years and believed they were dead. However, if your spouse does turn up, the best defense for bigamy is to quickly have your second marriage annulled so there is no longer an issue. Of course, you then have to go through a divorce with your first spouse and remarriage to your second if you so choose.

Bigamy is typically a very rare circumstance, but it is not completely uncommon. If your spouse runs off on you and you have no way to serve them with divorce papers, it can be frustrating. However, you may still have options. If you are charged with bigamy or need help divorcing a spouse you cannot find, contact us today so the Law Office of Jamra & Jamra can talk over your options.