By The Law Offices of Ronald H. Kauffman of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Divorce on Tuesday, August 4, 2015.

Divorce is bad enough: splitting time with your children, losing half of everything you own, and possibly paying support for years. Could it get worse? You bet, if you do it wrong you could end up in prison.

A Virginia man was charged with two counts of bigamy after his wife found out her husband had not divorced his previous wife before they got married.

Blake was charged with two counts of bigamy and two counts of forgery. From behind bars, Blake explained that he has had three different marriages.

“I got papers in the mail saying we were divorced, but evidently you get two sets of papers. I signed my name and everything on it”

“I thought the marriage wasn’t real and that’s why I got married to Jessica”

He and his current wife Jessica believe his second marriage of two weeks wasn’t valid, and theirs is. He’s convinced the charges are being levied against him out of revenge.

It doesn’t happen often, and the Virginia police department spokesperson reported they made two bigamy arrests in the past 10 years.

I’ve written about the importance of having a board certified attorney to handle a divorce. If your divorce is done wrong, the rule is that an honest belief that your divorce was validly granted, is not a defense to a prosecution for bigamy.

Could it happen to you? It happens in my experience when innocent jurisdictional rules are ignored. In order to get divorced in Florida, for instance, you have to have been a resident here for six months. If you aren’t, your divorce decree may be invalid.

You could read more on the Virginia story here.

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