Two women could be in the legal mess of their lives after the man they both married was arrested and charged with bigamy. If convicted, one or both of these women could face considerable problems when it comes to sorting out assets and even benefits down the road, especially if either decides to file for divorce.
For those of our Texas readers who may not have heard about this particular case, police arrested the 26-year-old Virginia man after it was discovered that he had married the two women on two separate occasions. The situation becomes more complicated by the fact that he fathered a child after marrying his second wife and is said to have lied on the marriage document by saying it was his first marriage.
While sources do not indicate if either of the women has filed for divorce at this time, this could complicate the situation even further. Let’s first consider his first marriage. Because she is a petty officer with the Navy, the 26-year-old man could be eligible to collect on her military benefits that is, of course, if the courts decide this to be the legal marriage. But what if the woman does not want him to collect these benefits in the event of a divorce? Will a conviction of bigamy automatically disqualify him from her benefits or will she need to fight this is a court of law in the future?
Now let’s take into consideration the second marriage. Determining whether this marriage was legal or not will determine with this women will be allowed to file for divorce as well. While the legality of her marriage may not affect child support payments for their child, it could affect whether she can file for alimony for herself.
Though a situation like this is rare, it does not make it any less complicated. For these two women, they would be well advised to seek legal counsel in order to sort this situation out as quickly as possible.
Source: The Washington Post, "Authorities say man had one wife in Norfolk, one wife and kid in Fairfax City. But why?" Tom Jackman, Aug. 19, 2013