Question: I need a divorce lawyer. I just found out that my husband is married. We live in Alpharetta, GA. We were married in Alpharetta. Our children go to Alpharetta schools.
I was recently in touch with a friend of mine form the University of Georgia because we are planning a reunion in Athens. We were in the same sorority. We haven't seen each other or even spoken for a lot of years but we signed up as coordinators for the reunion. We became Facebook friends. She posted a picture of her “husband's” birthday party. And I was shocked because her husband is my husband. I couldn't believe it. She lives in Florida. When I saw the picture I called her immediately and we spoke for hours. Her husband's name is Joseph; my husband's name is Ethan. I sent her like 10 pictures of him and see sent my several of her man. It looked like the exact same guy. She told me intimate details about him that I didn't think anyone else but I knew.
I confronted my husband that night after I put the kids to bed. At first he denied it but then he admitted it. He said he married my friend about 4 years before we were married. He's been living a double life. He travels on business at least 3 days a week. I can't trust him anymore. How soon can I get a divorce?
Answer: Thank you very much for writing to us. We can only imagine the anxiety and pain this has caused. A person with more than one “spouse” is a rare occurrence, but sadly we do see it occasionally. Because of your “husband's” prior marriage, the marriage to you is void. Stern v. Stern, 235 Ga. 212, 219 S.E.2d 106 (1975). In other words, you are not legally married. Under Georgia law, his second marriage is void because he was already married and the law will not allow him to have two wives.
However, a legal action can be brought against him that would request that all assets be apportioned and you can certainly request that the court grant child support make other awards for your benefit.
Besides the divorce issues that you have inquired about, we should note that having two wives is a crime. It is called bigamy and it is a felony in Georgia.
We are experienced and knowledgeable Alpharetta divorce and family law attorneys. Our experience is vital to serving our clients: we have served as a magistrate judge, an assistant county attorney and an assistant attorney general. If you have a question about divorce or family law, please email it to us. We'll try to answer it on our blog. These are very person matters and no names will be used. If you need to speak with a family and divorce lawyer, call us at 678-215-4106.