Under Texas state law, a person can legally be married to one person. If someone is found to be married to multiple people, they could face charges for bigamy. This also applies to people who have separated from — but not divorced — a previous spouse. A Texas man recently found himself in a legal predicament after it was determined that he had two wives.
The 38-year-old man in this case maintained separate households with two spouses, neither of whom knew about this arrangement. Eventually, one wife found out about the situation. Although the man could have faced penalties for bigamy, the statute of limitations prevented charges from moving forward.
When the man married his second wife in 2009, he presented a divorce petition that was filed only hours earlier. The divorce was never finalized because the man and his first wife eventually resolved their conflict. As such, the man was married to two people.
This story raises an important aspect of family law. It’s critical for individuals to ensure their divorce is finalized before moving forward with another marriage. In these kinds of situations, it’s possible that a person could inadvertently face criminal charges for bigamy. An experienced family law attorney can help make sure that all aspects of the divorce are finalized to allow both spouses to move forward. The hope is that individuals are able to peaceably dissolve their marriage without running into complications down the road.
Since the bigamy issue came forward, the man and his first wife completed their divorce. Adultery was cited as the reason for divorce. Their recently settled divorce includes provisions for a financial settlement, including child support.
Source: New York Daily News, “Texas man arrested for bigamy, had 2 wives 20 miles apart,” Lee Moran, April 9, 2013
Our firm has experience resolving a wide-variety of family law issues. To learn more, please see our Austin family law page.