Afraid to get married because of bigamy laws

June 26, 2020

Dear Pastor,

This letter is on behalf of a friend. He recently separated from the mother of his two children.

This woman is in her mid-50s. He has been courting another woman; however, he is still in love with the mother of his children.

She was married during her 20s, but has been separated from her husband for more than 30 years. Her husband remarried and lives with his family overseas.

My friend wishes to marry the mother of his two children and wants to create a stable family with her.

However, she is afraid that if she marries him without having been divorced from her husband, she would be guilty of bigamy.

I told him that having been abandoned for more than 30 years, she can hardly be considered 'married'. Therefore, in my unlearned opinion, I believe that she should be able to marry my friend without being perceived as a bigamist.

Kindly let us have your advice, Pastor, and I will advise him to contact you himself in order to make the appropriate decision. I am hoping to hear from you at your earliest possible convenience. Thank you.


Dear S.P.,

Anybody who is married, and is not legally divorced, and gets married again can be charged with bigamy. It does not matter how long he or she had been separated from their spouse.

You say that this man left his wife and went abroad and got married to another woman. If he did not divorce his wife, he is guilty of bigamy.

So if you want to be of help to this gentleman who is eager to marry the mother of his children, encourage him to ascertain whether her husband divorced her, and if he did, he should send her a copy of the Divorce Absolute.

Sometimes people go abroad and divorce their wives or husbands and their spouses are not aware of it.

Others have not divorced their spouses, but because they want to get green cards, they lie and claim they were never married. Such people are guilty of bigamy.


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