Bigamy Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Bigamy, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Bigamy?

(n) Bigamy is the practice of having more than one living spouse at a time. when one party to a marriage is legally married and not separated legally , then the second marriage is bigamous and hence void.

History and Meaning of Bigamy

Bigamy has been considered a criminal offense in most cultures and religions throughout history. The origins of the term can be traced back to the Greek word "bigamos," which means "having two marriages." In ancient Greece, bigamy was punished by exile, while in Rome it was considered a serious crime, punishable by death.

The legal definition of bigamy varies from country to country, but in general, it is the act of marrying someone while still being legally married to another person. Bigamy is considered a serious offense in many parts of the world and is often punishable by imprisonment or fines.

Examples of Bigamy

  1. John was legally married to Jane when he met and fell in love with Mary. Despite being married to Jane, John married Mary, making his second marriage bigamous.
  2. Sarah was married to John when she discovered that he had been previously married and had never divorced his first wife. Sarah realized that her marriage to John was bigamous and that she was not legally married to him.
  3. Bill divorced his first wife but did not obtain a legal divorce certificate. He then married Susan, making their marriage bigamous and legally invalid.

Legal Terms Similar to Bigamy

  1. Polygamy - the practice of having more than one spouse at the same time, regardless of whether the marriages are legally recognized or not.
  2. Adultery - the act of having sexual relations with someone who is not one's spouse.
  3. Polyamory - the practice of having romantic relationships with multiple people at the same time, with the consent of all parties involved.