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(bĭ`gəmē), crime of marrying during the continuance of a lawful marriage. Bigamy is not committed if a prior marriage has been terminated by a divorcedivorce,
partial or total dissolution of a marriage by the judgment of a court. Partial dissolution is a divorce "from bed and board," a decree of judicial separation, leaving the parties officially married while forbidding cohabitation.
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 or a decree of nullity of marriagenullity of marriage,
in law, an unlawful marriage that is either void or voidable because of conditions existing at the time of the marriage. A bigamous or incestuous marriage, for example, is void, and there is no need to bring a suit to obtain a decree declaring it void.
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. In the United States if a husband or wife is absent and unheard of for seven (or in some states five) years and not known to be alive, he or she is presumed dead, and remarriage by the other spouse is not bigamous. It is not necessarily a defense to a charge of bigamy that the offending party believed in good faith that he was divorced or that his previous marriage was not lawful.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1878 that plurality of wives (polygamy), as originally permitted by the Mormon religion, violated criminal law and was not defensible as an exercise of religious liberty. The Latter-day Saints renounced polygamy in 1890, but the practice has persisted among some, although it has been rarely prosecuted.



and polygamy, in Soviet criminal law, cohabitation of a man with two or several women, provided that the man establishes a household separately with each of the women or simultaneously with all of them. In either case it is insignificant whether the marriages with these women have been registered. It is sufficient to establish the facts of cohabitation and keeping house together.

The social danger of bigamy is that it hinders the actual emancipation of women and violates the principle of monogamy. The law provides for punitive measures of deprivation of freedom for up to one year or correctional tasks for the same term (see, for example, the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, arts. 235–36). Criminal responsibility for bigamy and polygamy is provided for by the legislation of the Azerbaijan, Armenian, Georgian, Kirghiz, Tadzhik, Turkmen, and Uzbek Soviet socialist republics and in the RSFSR in several autonomous Soviet socialist republics and national okrugs (the Bashkir, Buriat, Dagestan, Kabarda-Balkar, and Tatar autonomous Soviet socialist republics, Adygei and Gorno-Altai autonomous oblasts, and Aga-Buriat, Komi-Permiak, and Koriak national okrugs)—that is, where the vestiges of a tribal way of life have not been completely eradicated.

Bigamy and polygamy should be distinguished from illegal registration of marriage with two or several women. The legislation of all the union republics prohibits the registration of a marriage without the dissolution of a previous marriage. Failure to comply with this legislation constitutes a special form of crime (for example, the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, art. 201).



the crime of marrying a person while one is still legally married to someone else
References in periodicals archive ?
42) He married Hannah Pfaff in a bigamous second union (perhaps while still acknowledging his marriage to Magdalena), and upon Hannah's death in 1882, married the woman who agreed to serve as his housekeeper, Sarah Ann Robinson.
There were cries of joy from the public gallery, where Sangster's three "wives", Frances Tait, who he divorced in 1996, his second wife Jill Sangster, who he is still married to, and Janet Wallace, formerly Pollard, with whom he entered into a bigamous marriage, were sitting.
A FORMER church minister from Chester who allegedly entered into a bigamous marriage looked for financially secure, vulnerable women, a court heard yesterday.
The bigamous pair, who were married abroad, had not sought prior approval from their respective commanders, who have the right to vet all potential spouses for security reasons.
Amazingly, this is one soap wedding where both parties turn up, neither is hiding a bigamous secret, an affair or a love child and nothing goes wrong with the ceremony.
It was during the course of the inquiry her department discovered the bigamous marriage.
Just when the bigamous Barlow thinks life is finally looking up,Lucy delivers a body blow that leaves him with a dilemma.
A trio of top stories by Caroline Waterston - including revelations of an exotic but bigamous wedding, an alarming audit of the most dangerous school in Scotland and a kidnapped girl's reunion with her father after 15 years - secured her nomination for Young Journalist of the Year.
Records of disciplinary cases prosecuted in the officialite, or ecclesiastical court of the bishopric of Saintes, from 1545 to 1552 reveal that Catholic priests from La Rochelle were officially censured for insolence toward parishioners, neglect of parochial duties, and the consecration of bigamous marriages arranged between spouses allowed to wed without proper examination.
Former nurse Webster also denies forming a fraudulent scheme to enter into a bigamous marriage with Simone.
But you have to wonder, in the year of the latest Royal Marriage, why he did not include George III's quite well-documented marriage to Hannah Lightfoot - which could render the current royal line of doubtful legitimacy as the fruit of a bigamous marriage.
Pat's mum then entered, unwittingly, into a bigamous marriage with a Yorkshire journalist.