What Can I Do if My Husband Commits Bigamy?
A crime is typically charged where the crime was committed. In California, a person may be fined by the state up to $10,000 for committing bigamy, but this money is paid to the state. Typically, for a wife to be awarded assets of the husband, it is through a property settlement in a divorce. In order to file for divorce in California, at least one of the parties to the dissolution action ("dissolution" is the technical California name for divorce) in California must have been a resident of the state for at least six months prior to the filing of the action and a resident of the county in which the action is filed for at least three months prior to the action being filed.
Please see the following CA statute:
281. (a) Every person having a husband or wife living, who marries
any other person, except in the cases specified in Section 282, is
guilty of bigamy.
(b) Upon a trial for bigamy, it is not necessary to prove either
of the marriages by the register, certificate, or other record
evidence thereof, but the marriages may be proved by evidence which
is admissible to prove a marriage in other cases; and when the second
marriage took place out of this state, proof of that fact,
accompanied with proof of cohabitation thereafter in this state, is
sufficient to sustain the charge.
282. Section 281 does not extend to any of the following:
(a) To any person by reason of any former marriage whose husband
or wife by such marriage has been absent for five successive years
without being known to such person within that time to be living.
(b) To any person by reason of any former marriage which has been
pronounced void, annulled, or dissolved by the judgment of a
283. Bigamy is punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand
dollars ($10,000) or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding
one year or in the state prison.
284. Every person who knowingly and willfully marries the husband
or wife of another, in any case in which such husband or wife would
be punishable under the provisions of this chapter, is punishable by
fine not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment
in the state prison.