Is Bigamy a punishable offense?

Introduction: Is Bigamy a punishable offense? Whether Bigamy is a punishable offense or not, it is essential to understand what it is. Bigamy means being a wife/husband or marrying another man/woman while married is called Bigamy.

Bigamy is prohibited in most countries around the world, and if someone does it knowingly, it is considered a crime and can be punished by heavy fines or detention according to the law.

Is Bigamy a punishable offense?
Is Bigamy a punishable offense?

Polygamy is permissible in Islam. Many Islamic countries allow this. In the United Arab States, polygamy is easy and is not considered a crime. One of the reasons for this is the different traditions and cultures. Every country has other traditions and cultures. Some laws are also included in the country’s constitution according to traditions and norms.

Bigamy is also a topic viewed differently in different countries due to customs, religion, and culture, making the issue quite confusing. Therefore, if you are living in any country, you should know the laws regarding Bigamy in the country where you currently live. Especially those nationals of an Islamic country and now living in a European country need to pay more attention to this topic.

Bigamy and UK

If you live in the UK, you must know whether Bigamy is allowed in the UK. If we put it briefly, the answer is that second marriage is not permitted in the UK and is considered a punishable offense in UK law.

However, there is one situation in which the UK recognizes Bigamy or, in simpler terms, allows polygamy. A problem where a person is present outside the UK in a country where Bigamy is permitted, and he marries more than once or remarries.

At the same time, if married at one time and both parties to the marriage are not present in the territory of the United Kingdom and are not domiciled in the UK, the union will be accepted under UK law, and no penalty will apply. But if such a marriage is performed while married in the UK, even if it is religiously performed and no civil ceremony is performed, then it is considered Bigamy. It is not allowed in the UK.

Many people in the UK think that because they have been separated from their spouse for a long time, their marriage is automatically void, but you have to keep in your concern that it is not ended in this way. It is necessary to complete the first marriage to remarry while living in the UK. The legal procedure is that you legally apply for divorce, even if you have been separated for a long time.

Bigamy and Texas

Bigamy is a criminal offence in Texas, as in the UK. In Texas, one adult man or woman is only allowed to be married to one adult man or woman at a time. According to the Texas Family Code, you are never allowed to marry more than one person at the same time; being married to more than one person is considered Bigamy under the Texas Family Code and is a punishable offense.

Still, the defendant can obtain immunity from legal proceedings if he can prove that he had dissolved his first marriage when he remarried or that when going to get married, any marriage does not previously bind him.

Bigamy occurs in Texas when someone enters Texas from another state and marries another, ignoring the laws of Bigamy. It can also happen if a person comes to Texas from another state and thinks their marriage is over, and they can get married.

Also, a person who believes he is divorced and can now marry but is not legally divorced or, for some technical reason, is not divorced and has remarried. If so, this also falls under the category of Bigamy.

Bigamy and USA

Same as Texas and UK, Bigamy is prohibited in the USA. It was outlawed by US law in 1878. Bigamy is illegal and criminalized in all 50 states of the USA. But in the USA, bigamy laws vary from state to state. In some states, Bigamy is considered a felony; in others, it is regarded as a misdemeanor. Such are the religions in which Bigamy is viewed as a misdemeanor. They are as follows.

  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Nebraska
  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • Arkansas
  • Missouri
  • Hawaii
  • Maine
  • Iowa

Bigamy and Canada

Bigamy is also illegal in Canada, but there is one situation under Canadian financial tax laws in which you can become a financial bigamist. It is only possible if the person you are married to is married and has a common-law partner. A common law partner is someone with whom you have been in a sexual relationship for at least one year.

One of the most significant benefits of being a common-law partner or married is when one partner dies. The Income Tax Act allows a surviving partner to “roll over” to a spouse or partner on a tax-deferred basis. It includes registered investments as well as unregistered investments.

Therefore, Canadian law allows having more than one spouse or partner for tax purposes, according to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Conclusion: Is Bigamy a punishable offense?

If you are charged with a crime like Bigamy in any country or state in the UK, USA, Canada, or Texas, you must hire a family lawyer on an emergency basis. Your attorney will review your case and see if you can provide a defense and avoid conviction during the court proceedings.

If you are going to get married, you must collect all the evidence of separation from the previous marriage related to you and your spouse. It will be possible if you have a court-issued divorce decree for you and your spouse to provide this decree as evidence for any place where you are accused of Bigamy.

If you want to remarry and want to do so in a state where Bigamy is not allowed or is considered a crime, you must request your partner to be legally married. Help you to separate so that after divorce, both parties can quickly remarry and both persons do not have to face court proceedings for the crime of Bigamy in connection with the remarriage.

Of course, if you are in an Islamic country, you don’t need to worry about the laws of Bigamy, but it is essential that while getting married in Islamic countries, you should check the laws of the country where you are getting married. 

Also read: How to prove Bigamy in Texas?; Adultery vs Bigamy; Is bigamy legal in the United States?

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