The Accidental Bigamist

Why it is so vital to make sure you get and keep your records in a Divorce

I was asked recently how changes in Kentucky’s marriage license forms could affect issues arising from subsequent marriages. I believe ultimately the Legislature will need to revise the language authorizing the various County Clerk’s offices to issue the licenses, but for now using the phrase “The Office of the Boyle County Clerk”, or whatever County it may be, would suffice. In point of fact, the elected Circuit Clerk or County Clerk rarely signs documents or licenses anyway, as that is almost always handled by the Deputy Clerks who greet you at the window.

However, in looking at the question I was reminded of another issue that can arise. The form asks if the applicant has been married before, but there is little other verification that the prior marriage has been dissolved by death or divorce. A person who knowingly misrepresented that fact on a marriage license request would be signing a false affidavit, and when the marriage occurs, be knowingly engaged in Bigamy, a crime in all 50 states. Continue reading

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