Is My New Marriage Void if the Old Marriage Was Not Dissolved Properly?

You may be wondering what happens when someone who is already married try to get married to another person while still married to the former spouse. The simple answer that question is the 2nd marriage is void.

Most people do not enter into a 2nd marriage knowingly while still married to their previous spouse. Bigamy is still a crime in the State of Georgia and is sometimes still prosecuted in the State of Georgia. Usually what happens is the previous marriage was not dissolved correctly either by error of one of the parties who did the divorce pro se or even their attorney who may have done something wrong in the filing and handling of the case. This is why it's important to find a qualified Dallas Georgia family law attorney to handle your divorce case.

I've seen several cases where one party believed he was divorced from the previous spouse only to find that he was still married when he married the new spouse. In one case, the person believed that the divorce was final once the paperwork was submitted to the court, and not when it was actually filed into the clerk's office. Because he filled out his paperwork and handed it to the judge's clerk he believed it was okay to marry his new wife. What he didn't realize was a divorce is not actually final until it is filed in the clerk's office. Because he married his new wife before the paperwork was signed and filed it was not a valid marriage which caused repercussions down the road for the parties involved.

The law is also clear that a previously undissolved marriage of one of the parties is not a ground for divorce in the State of Georgia when there is fraud involved. A judgment decree of divorce based on such ground is void. Where petitioner's prior marriage is undissolved, the purported marriage the defendant would be void, and petitioner would not be entitled to a divorce. Likewise, where plaintiff's prior divorce was obtained by fraud in the State that did not have jurisdiction, that divorce was void and the 2nd marriage was void. The defendant could move to dismiss the divorce proceeding by way of collateral attack on such purported prior divorce.

The divorce decree obtained in sister state in consequence of false representations by parties as to residence therein is a nullity and may be collaterally attacked in any court by person not a party thereto, materially and adversely affected thereby. In Cole v. Cole to 21 Ga. 171 (1965) the wife's own testimony in her divorce action showed that fraud was practiced by her and former husband on courts of sister state which purportedly divorce them and that neither of them had ever lived in such State, he was not entitled to maintain her suit for divorce and defendant could move to dismiss it by way of collateral attack on such purported divorce.

Contact a Dallas Ga family law lawyer to help you with your case.

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