That an adult is only able to be married to one person at a time may at
first appear to be a straightforward concept. However, on a recent occasion
a person walked into our office and told us of a scenario where, in fact,
he was married to two different women simultaneously. In Texas, how does
State law view a unique and convoluted situation such as this?
In the above example, the Texas Family Code holds that the first marriage
is the only valid marriage. Any marriage entered into by a person after
the first valid marriage is void by definition. The second marriage that
is void can be made valid if the first marriage ends due to death or divorce-
as long as the the parties to the second marriage represent themselves
as married and live together. That second marriage becomes a
common law marriage which begins on the date the earlier marriage is dissolved.
What practical effects does a void marriage have on the parties involved?
For starters there is no tax benefits available for filing jointly as
a married couple. Death benefits and the right to make life and death
decisions are not available to either party either. Being named a beneficiary
of a retirement plan or life insurance policy has the potential of being
declared invalid because the marriage was void.
Important to note at this point in our discussion is that if you find out
your spouse has a prior, valid marriage you do not need to take legal
action of any kind to exit the relationship. Your marriage was never in
existence. You may, however, seek a void marriage declaration of your
local family law court just in case. This declaration can protect your
property and allow you to enter into a marriage in the future without
What if a spouse truly and honestly becomes their marriage is a valid marriage
despite the fact that it is void? In this instance, the State of Texas
designates such a person as a putative spouse. A putative spouse has the
ability to recover a portion of what would ordinarily be considered to
be community property. Their right to do so ends as soon as the spouse
realizes (or should have realized) that there is an earlier marriage that
is still in place. Essentially- the spouse must file their claim in family
court prior to this realization.
Preserving your rights to property accumulated during this void marriage
is an important consideration in a scenario such as this.
Experienced family law attorneys, like those with the Law Office of Bryan
Fagan, can assist you in developing a plan to exit a void marriage.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Klein,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and