What is bigamy?

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Bigamy is a condition wherein a person is married to two different persons at the same time. Either the husband or the wife may commit bigamy to his/her spouse. In most Western cultures, bigamy is considered illegal or unlawful regardless of the circumstances presented by either the wife or husband. Under the law, the first marriage is typically justified as the legal marriage while the supposed second marriage is deemed illegal, null, or void. This simply means that the second marriage is considered to have never happened at all once finalized by the legal system. In terms of rights, on the spouse on the first marriage are considered lawful and legal.

The act of bigamy may be concealed on purpose or may be agreed by the parties involved. Regardless of the circumstance, once the marriage is deemed to have rooted out of bigamy, then this second marriage will be dissolved and declared void. In most Western and modern cultures, this is the usual interpretation of the law. The husband or wife who committed bigamy may undergo punishment which varies from imprisonment or payment of fines and penalties. Even if there is consent from the original spouse of the first marriage, the second marriage will still be considered void by the legal system. When a person enters into a third or fourth marriage, the violation will now be labelled as polygamy.

In some cultures, being married twice or more to other people is allowed or tolerated. Many cultures that allow bigamous relationships based their actions on traditions and religious beliefs. Some also argue that engaging in bigamy is considered beneficial to a particular family in terms of team work among the different spouses. There are usual issues however in terms of which spouse gets the better treatment or which one feels being deprived of his/her rights.

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