Engaged While Still Married
They say that life is what happens while you are planning. For some, that means that you may find yourself being proposed to while still married to someone else. For others, it means getting engaged while going through a divorce proceeding. If you find yourself engaged while still married, here are some things to consider:
1. It is not illegal to get engaged before you get divorced, but you have to get divorced before you remarry.
Stated another way, it is illegal in most places to get married before you are officially divorced. While it is not illegal to get engaged while still married, in most places, getting married while still married to someone else is called bigamy. People sometimes ask “can you be married and get a divorce at the same time” which is possible. However, in many states, there are laws that make bigamy a criminal offense.
2. Don’t set a wedding date before getting a divorce.
This is very serious. People in these situations often lose money and at the very least, sleep worrying about whether a divorce will be final before an arbitrary wedding date. Often these situations involve the non-married individual putting an extreme amount of pressure on the other party to get a divorce quicker. Sometimes, these situations put the married party in a weaker position in the divorce proceeding as the other party knows that they are under duress and need to get the divorce as soon as possible.
3. If there are children involved, consider giving them time to adjust to what is going on.
There are two scenarios in which this often occurs. The first is that in which one or both of the parties has children and a divorce is pending. In such situations, the couple should consider waiting to get married so that the children can have time to adjust to their new lives. Counseling should be a consideration in these scenarios.
In the other scenario, there is a baby on the way and there is a race to divorce before the unborn child enters the world. This can be stressful as the court’s timetable is not usually influenced by the pregnancy of a third party.
ENGAGED AND NEED A DIVORCE?
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