What happens if you re-marry before your divorce is final?
I was married to a man from another country, separated, and was in the process of becoming divorced when I remarried someone else on the spur of the moment before my divorce decree was final. How does that work? Am I still married to my new husband? If not do we have to do it all over again now? Do we have to get a divorce as well before we can re-marry or is it just null and void. I think that I really messed up with this.
Hello. My name is Natasha Goodarzian and I am in attorney licensed to practice law in Virginia.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, as my New Jersey colleague properly stated, a "marriage" entered into while you are still married is void. This is called bigamy. You must legally terminate your previous marriage first meaning that you must obtain a proper divorce before you may proceed into a second marriage. The legal implications of marriage are numerous including sharing marital property, holding title to real estate as tenants by the entirety, having an automatic share in your spouse's estate should he unfortunately pass, etc. That is why Virginia and the rest of the United States, takes this issue into such heavy consideration with several laws to protect against bigamy. The best way to proceed would be to go back to the laws of the country you were married in and/or lived and obtain a proper divorce with proper documentation. However, note that if you and your spouse lived in Virginia for the past 6 months, then he will have a right to obtain a divorce under the laws of Virginia. A religious divorce or foreign divorce will not be accepted.
I believe that this summary will provide you some direction and allow you to retain the services of legal counsel to help you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am located in Tysons Corner, Virginia. My office number is (703) 226-3713. Good Luck!
If your divorce from your first husband was not final, the law regards your attempt to marry someone else as completely void. So, if your divorce from your first husband is final, now, you are single.
And yes, you could say you have "messed up." You've committed bigamy, which is a class 4 felony under Virginia law, if you lived as husband and wife after the invalid wedding and before the divorce was final.
How do you fix this? You're going to have to get married again. Whether that will trigger any kind of official response (when a "duplicate" marriage hits the records, if that's detected), I don't know, and you might want to talk to a local attorney first.