What can I do if I just found out my husband is still married while we are married?

Full Question:

I found out my husband is still married to his second wife and now he has just been caught cheating on my marriage of 5 years. If he is a bigamist, what do I do next?
01/31/2007   |   Category: Divorce   |   State: Ohio   |   #1402

Answer:

You may file for a divorce and/or file criminal bigamy charges against your
husband.

CRIMINAL ACTION

§ 2919.01. - Bigamy.

(A) No married person shall marry another or continue to cohabit with such
other person in this state.

(B) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section that the
actor's spouse was continuously absent for five years immediately preceding
the purported subsequent marriage, and was not known by the actor to be
alive within that time.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of bigamy, a misdemeanor of the
first degree

CIVIL ACTION

Grounds for divorce/dissolution

The State of Ohio permits judgments of divorce and dissolution of marriage
to be granted upon the following grounds:

1. Bigamy

2. Willful absence of the adverse party for one year

3. Adultery

4. Extreme cruelty

5. Fraudulent contract

6. Gross neglect of duty

7. Habitual drunkenness

8. Imprisonment of the adverse party

9. Procurement of a divorce outside the State by a party which releases the
party who obtained it from the obligations of marriage while the obligations
remained binding on the other party

10. Living separate and apart without cohabitation for one year without
interruption

11. Incompatibility of the parties. § 3105.01


Residency requirements

In actions for divorce in the State of Ohio, the filing party must have resided
in the State of Ohio for at least six months immediately prior to the filing of
the complaint. In addition, the filing party must have resided in the county in
which the complaint is filed for at least ninety days immediately prior to the
filing of the complaint.

In actions for dissolution of marriage, the filing party must have resided in
the State of Ohio for at least six months immediately prior to the filing of the
petition for dissolution. § 3105.03, 3105.62, CivR 3


Name of court and title of action/parties

Actions for divorce and dissolution of marriage are filed in the Court of
Common Pleas. The title of the action initiating an action for divorce is a
Complaint, while the title of an action initiating an action for dissolution of
marriage is a Petition. The title of the action granting the divorce is a Decree
of Divorce, and the title of the action granting the dissolution of marriage is a
Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. The filing party is known as the Petitioner
if the action is for dissolution and the Plaintiff if the action is one for divorce.
The other party in an action for dissolution is referred to as the Co-
Petitioner, and if the action is for divorce, the Defendant. § 3105.011


Legal separation

The State of Ohio permits judgments of legal separation to be granted upon
the following grounds:

1. Bigamy

2. Willful absence of the adverse party for one year

3. Adultery

4. Extreme cruelty

5. Fraudulent contract

6. Gross neglect of duty

7. Habitual drunkenness

8. Imprisonment

9. Living separate and apart without cohabitation for one uninterrupted year

10. Incompatibility. § 3105.17


Simplified divorce procedure

If the parties agree to all terms, they may jointly file a petition for dissolution
of marriage. The petition must be signed by both parties and have attached
a separation agreement providing for division of property, spousal support,
allocation of parental rights, visitation and custody, and child support. Both
parties must appear before the court and if the court is satisfied with the
parties' testimony and the terms of the agreement, the court will grant the
dissolution of marriage. § 3105.63

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