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Virginia woman learns husband wasn’t divorced before marriage

Most people who get married expect the marriage to last forever. For some people, the union begins to fall apart. In some cases, the reasons are well known to both people in the marriage. For other people, secrets kept during the marriage might begin to come out once the marriage tanks. One Virginia woman probably never expected to find some of the things she did after she and her husband split up.

She married her husband on Sept. 1, 2012. The marriage was allegedly the man's fourth marriage. That, however, is up for debate. The man's daughter says that she knows of six prior wives not including the Virginia woman. A police detective says that the man has actually been married nine or more times.

The woman had to get an order of protection against her husband, which led to his removal from the home on Aug. 16, 2013. Once that was served and he was out of the house, she decided to see what she could find in a locked filing cabinet that she was never allowed to look in during their marriage. Now, the man she thought was her husband is facing charges for bigamy, falsely swearing, and perjury.

The man was apparently already married when he married the woman. She found a marriage license from another state. That makes her marriage, which was a bigamous marriage, void under Virginia law. The man asserts that he paid an attorney for a divorce in the other state. He says that he thought he was divorced, but isn't sure. That isn't what he said when he got married in Virginia when he told the court he was divorced.

Making sure that you have a divorce decree when your marriage dissolves is vital to ensure that you don't have to deal with a situation like this man and woman are dealing with. Understanding the divorce procedure in the state can help to ensure you are protected and properly divorced.

Source:  The News & Advance, "Locked cabinet's secrets lead to Va. man's bigamy charge" Melissa Powell, The Roanoke Times, Apr. 11, 2014

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