Is it a Crime to Marry Someone Else?

In Virginia, it is a crime to marry another person if you already have a living spouse. (2) In fact, it is a fairly serious offense, at least in terms of the crime’s classification. It is a class 4 felony, and its referred to as “Bigamy.”  If you have questions about whether your marriage is still valid, call your Virginia Beach Divorce Lawyer.

How do I know if I am Guilty of Bigamy?

The crime of “Bigamy” is defined by Virginia Statute, section 18.2-362. While your Virginia Beach Divorce Lawyer is the professional to call regarding your serious legal questions, this article will give you a basic understanding of the crime.

There was at one time in Virginia history, a dispute as to the elements of the crime. Upon a reading of the statute, one may interpret the crime to apply to a situation where the second marriage was entered into in Virginia or if the “new” couple cohabitates in Virginia. In actuality, those instances give rise to jurisdiction. Jurisdiction means that the person or parties can entertain their case before a Virginia court. A case from the Supreme Court of Virginia has held that the above two instances that create jurisdiction are not specific elements of the crime.

Who can be Charged with Bigamy?

In Virginia, both persons involved in bigamous actions can be charged if they both have another living spouse. For example, if Bob and Sally are married, and Cindy and Dan are too, then Bob and Cindy could be charged with bigamy if they go off and get married. For answers to questions specifically related to your situation, please consult your Virginia Beach Family and Divorce Attorney.