What is Bigamous Marriage?
It is important to understand that if you get married whilst you are still legally married to someone else, you could be committing bigamy by the laws of England and Wales.
The process and procedure of ending a civil partnership or same-sex marriage is virtually the same as the divorce process following a heterosexual marriage. In normal circumstances, this is a paper procedure via the Courts, starting with a dissolution or divorce petition.
The most significant difference is that when choosing which ground to use in the petition to show the breakdown of your marriage, same-sex couples cannot rely on Adultery.
The reason for this lies in the very traditional and mainly religious basis for current divorce law, which even today still defines adultery as:
‘…voluntary sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who are not married to each other but one of whom is married to someone else.’
So the definition does not apply to same-sex physical relationships, but that is not to say that an affair, whether emotional or physical, cannot form the basis for a divorce or dissolution. Instead, you can use the Unreasonable Behaviour ground in the petition.
It often comes as a surprise that the last divorce law dates back to 1973, almost 50 years ago, and many people feel that as with many other aspects of Family Law, there needs to be change to bring the law more in line with modern day families. But as the recent No Fault Divorce reform shows, progress in this area is never swift.
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