The Atlanta Family Law News Blog - Find an Atlanta Family Attorney

Georgia Woman Accused of Bigamy

Many people follow the TLC show Sister Wives about a polygamist family in Utah. But there may be a brother husbands situation happening right here in Georgia, even though the husbands didn’t know it at the time.

A Cobb County woman married a man in Gwinnett County in 2004 and while still married to him, married another man in Cobb County in 2007, thus engaging in bigamy, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Diane Tucker, the Georgia woman accused of bigamy, was discovered in 2009, when her second husband uncovered the facts after she was arrested for allegedly trying to steal a pick-up truck.

The crime of bigamy is defined as the crime of marrying someone while still legally married to someone else. It tends only to be prosecuted when a person registers a simultaneous marriage in the U.S. court system. Presumably, a simultaneous marriage that is not registered in the court system wouldn't lead to a bigamy prosecution, since the authorities would just treat that as adultery.

 An individual that is engaged in bigamy -- and the people with whom she or he are married -- will not be forced to divorce. Instead, the marriages will be annulled under Georgia Code 19-3-2, 19-4-1.

Annulments of marriage are rare in today's society, but the procedure is still available if the required legal grounds for annulment are present. The legal theory underlying annulment is that the marriage was never valid to begin with -- meaning that the marriage never existed in the eyes of the law. In legal terms, marriages subject to annulment are classified as "void" or "voidable," and are sometimes called "nullified" marriages. An action for an annulment must be started by a certain time.

But one important limitation applies: a marriage may not be annulled where children are born or are to be born of the marriage. In the case of Diane Tucker and her two husbands, there are currently no reports regarding the status of children.

Related Resources: