Can I Get Married Even If I Am Already Married.
Last updated 10 January 2017)
- 0.1 How long will this take? Better ask your lawyer that question.
- 0.2 But Can’t I Just Get Married Anyway?
- 0.3 Five Out Of The First Five States I Checked Say NO!
- 0.4 You can’t marry (legally or morally) in the US or the Philippines if you are already married.
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Older Update: I just searched for this article and was surprised to not it was already nearly 4 years old. Time flies when you’re having fun. Here’s a recent comment and this article will serve as my answer to the commenter.
Hi…im a Filipina ,married to an american guy in the states. I together with our son left my husband in the states and go back to the Philippines. I fell in love with a Filipino, how can I marry a Filipino here in the Philippines since I’m still married in the states? What legal solution is best?how long will it take?
Well the short answer is, you can’t marry your new love until you legally free yourself from the love you have already promised to love, honor and obey until death you do part.
You can’t have a “lover in every country”, marriage in the Philippines is legally recognized by the USA and marriage in the USA is legally recognized by the Philippines.
I don’t give legal advice. I’m not qualified to do so and if I was qualified, it wouldn’t be for free. But my personal opinion is this:
- You must get your current husband to file for a divorce from you.
- You must then petition a court in the Philippines to recognize that divorce since it was filed by a foreigner. It won’t work if you, as a Philippine citizen file for divorce, the law of the Philippines denies you that right.
- You must then request the NSO to change your civil status to “unmarried” based upon the Philippine court’s recognition of your divorce.
How long will this take? Better ask your lawyer that question.
But Can’t I Just Get Married Anyway?
Here is a principle upon which I live. You, each and every reader, are free to live by your own principles, conscience and belief. Just do me a big favor and don’t ask me if “it’s all right”. That is up to you, or, as we sometimes say here in the Philippines, “Bahala ka”.
“Laws are mutually accepted rules by which, together, we maintain
a free society. Liberty itself is built on a foundation of law. That
foundation provides an orderly process for changing laws. It also
depends on our obeying laws once they have been freely
I don’t advocate breaking the law, lying under oath or starting one’s marriage based upon a known, provable lie. But then again, the choice is yours, not mine.
Many have heard me mention that unlike a country with an integrated, national policy on marriage (and divorce) (like the Philippines where there is no divorce (except for certain specific exemptions under Sharia (Muslim) courts), there are really 50 plus ‘laws of marriage’ in the USA.
So to ask a question regarding the legality of some proposed action, you really have to go into a specific state’s laws, something I am neither qualified nor willing to do, in detail. Here are some examples, though, that will illustrate my point:
- To marry in California, the two parties to the marriage may not be already married.
- (New York) … Information regarding previous marriages must be furnished in the application for a marriage license. This includes whether the former spouse or spouses are living, and whether the applicants are divorced and, if so, when, where and against whom the divorce or divorces were granted. A certified copy of the Decree of Divorce or a Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage may be required by the clerk issuing the marriage license.
- (Illinois) Q: Is my marriage in another state or foreign country legal in Illinois? A: Yes, all marriages contracted outside this state, that were valid at the time of the contract or subsequently validated by the laws of the place in which they were contracted or by the domicile of the married couple, are valid in Illinois if the marriage would have been allowed in this state. in addition note this restrictive language: Individuals who reside out of state may not apply for a marriage license in Illinois if such a marriage would not be legal in their home state. (Ed Note: and the answer to the first question seems to indicate that with the use of the word ‘state” the lawmakers didn’t intend to mean only a “US ‘state” but rather the term ”state” as it also refers commonly to a foreign sovereign ‘state” or nation, such as the Philippines.)
- (New Jersey) … Not be a party to another civil union, domestic partnership or marriage in this State or recognized by this State; Note also this warning: Do not sign the marriage application form before going to the Local Registrar. You must sign the application, while under oath, in the presence of the issuing authority.
- (Texas) … (from state statues regarding who may marry) (….each applicant to check “true” or “false” in response to the following statement: “I am not presently married and the other applicant is not presently married.” … and to take the oath printed on the application and sign the application before the county clerk. Note that “… An applicant commits an offense if the applicant knowingly provides false information under Subsection (b)(5) or (6). An offense under this subsection is a Class A misdemeanor…” A Class A misdemeanor in Texas is punishable by: A fine not to exceed $4,000; Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year; or both such fine and confinement.
Five Out Of The First Five States I Checked Say NO!
So what do you think? Should we continue through the other 45 states plus the District of Columbia or are you ready to agree that it is NOT legal to marry in the USA if you are already married?
Now you might find some obscure loophole somewhere, I sure am not going to conduct detailed legal research on the question in all states and jurisdictions, it just seems to me smart enough to just admit the truth.
You can’t marry (legally or morally) in the US or the Philippines if you are already married.
This is my current (and final) opinion on this unless and until someone changes my mind. remember I am a layman and this is my personal opinion, not legal advice. But it is the advice I am going to give from now on, so if you are one of those ones whom many times each month asks me my opinion regarding whether you “can” get married in the US even though you are still married in the Philippines, save yourself the trouble of commenting or writing in, because I am going to refer you here.
If you have a differing opinion, that’s fine too, just don’t bother to tell me about it … I am busy with other things in life and I am tired of arguing this (to me) obvious point.
(By the way, comments are closed on this post. Sorry, but I have said what I am going to say)
That’s what I have to say on the subject of Can I Get Married Even If I Am Already Married.