Can I marry again if I file a legal separation? 88 Answers as of May 07, 2012

I’ve been separated with my husband for almost 10 yrs now, and within those years we haven’t been in communication and I didn't get any financial support from him. Now he has another family with 2 children. My question is, is there a possibility that I can marry again if I will file a legal separation? Specifically if my boyfriend is a foreigner?

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Hyman, Carter & Patel, PLLC
Hyman, Carter & Patel, PLLC | Mital D. Patel
You will need to file for divorce. You can NOT remarry if you have filed for legal seperation.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 5/7/2012
Varadi, Hair & Checki, LLC
Varadi, Hair & Checki, LLC | Galen M. Hair
The answer is that you should file for divorce. Specifically, you should contact an attorney asap if you are thinking of re-marrying.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 5/4/2012
Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
Under a "Legal Separation" your existing marriage continues to exist. A second marriage violates law; and would be void. The first marriage must be dissolved by a "Decree of Dissolution".
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/2/2012
Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
In order to marry another, you need to get divorced from your husband. Louisiana law no longer provides for a legal separation. You would have to file a petition for divorce and obtain a judgment of divorce before you can marry another.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 5/2/2012
The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier
The Law Offices of Seth D. Schraier | Seth D. Schraier
Before you get remarried, you will need to make sure that the state officially recognizes you as divorced. The simple fact that you have been separated for 10 years does not by itself mean you are legally divorced until you file for divorce. In New York State, as long as there is no contest from your husband, this can be done fairly quickly. I personally have been able to get divorces granted within 3 months after my first meeting with a client. But the important thing to remember is that you should not remarry until you have a judgment granting the divorce, otherwise there could potentially be problems that result.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/2/2012
    L. JONES LAW FIRM, PLLC
    L. JONES LAW FIRM, PLLC | Leon Jones, Jr.
    You will need to be legally divorced to be get legally married to another. Legal separation is not sufficient to allow you to remarry.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/2/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    There is no such thing as legal separation in Texas. Therefore, your answer is an absolute NO! If you marry your boyfriend without divorcing your husband first, you will not be legally married to boyfriend as a matter of law, it will not help his immigration status at all, and in fact, I would venture to guess (I don't practice immigration law so this is just my opinion) that an immigration officer seeing this would assume a fraudulent marriage and it would hurt his immigration status. By the way, Texas does recognize "common law marriage" but there is no such thing as common law divorce. You have two options, remained married to your current husband OR divorce him.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/2/2012
    Law Offices of Pamela R. Lawson | Pamela R. Lawson, Esq.
    No you may not marry anyone until you are divorced. A legal separation is just that, the financial and legal matters between the parties are adjudicated just as they would be in a divorce, but you are still legally married.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/2/2012
    Dungan, Lady, Kirkpatrick & Dungan PLLC | Michael Dungan
    Michigan does not recognize legal separations, although you can file for an Order of Separate Maintenance which is similar. Neither divorce you from your current husband, which you need to get married again. Why do you not want to be divorced?
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/2/2012
    Holly Schymik, Attorney, Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer | Holly Schymik
    There is no such thing as legal separation in Texas. To legally remarry, you need to get a divorce first. Otherwise the second marriage would be a bigamous marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/2/2012
    Snake River Law PLLC
    Snake River Law PLLC | Mark Petersen
    No. You will need to obtain a divorce prior to remarriage.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
    Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
    No. You must get an official divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    No. You can only be married to one person at a time. A "Legal Separation" leaves you married to your spouse. If you want the freedom to remarry, you should file a Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce). You haven't provided any reasons in your question to justify seeking a Legal Separation, which is generally sought only by people who don't believe in divorce, or where one of the parties has otherwise uninsurable health issues and divorce would leave that party without health insurance available through the other spouse's employment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Anderson & Boback | Janice L Boback
    You cannot marry again until you get a divorce from your current husband - no matter how long you have been separated.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    You may not legally marry until after you are granted a decree of divorce. It does not matter who your boyfriend is. You must complete the divorce before a second marriage. You can go after your ex for back child support if you had children with him.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Coulter's Law
    Coulter's Law | Coulter K. Richardson
    No, you need an actual divorce.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli
    Law Office of Robert D. Rosanelli | Robert D. Rosanelli
    If you want to remarry, you must have your marriage dissolved. A legal separation will not suffice.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg
    Law Office of Jane E. Ginsburg | Jane Ginsburg
    You cannot re-marry until you are legally divorced. A legal separation does not "count." Do not remarry if you are not legally divorced.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    John Russo | John Russo
    If I understand your question right you have been separated but, not legally from your husband for about 10 years. Now you want to marry again, after filing for a legal separation from husband #1. The answer is NO! A legal separation or what is also called Divorce from Bed and Board is just that, it only allows you to live separate and apart and if done properly will divorce you of certain financial obligations going forward. In this juridiction people will file a separation for different reasons, i.e. Religious beliefs or in some cases if they have not been living here for at least one year before filing they can file for a legal separation keep it going for a period of time until they reach the one year requirement and then FLIP it over to a full Divorce proceeding. So in the end to re-marry you must first get a divorce. Also, both processes take about the same length of time so unless its for a religious purpose just file for divorce. Also, in this State since you have been living separate and apart for more then 3 years your divorce will become final in 30 days after being put through rather then the normal 90 day waiting period. Hope this helps.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    You cannot get married so long as you are still married; you have to get divorced in order to marry again. We have no such thing as legal separation in Texas, but even if we did it is impossible to be married to two people at once. If you did, the second marriage would not exist until the divorce ended the first marriage, at which time it would spring to life and then be valid.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    Georgia does not have legal separation. If the parties to a marriage are factually separated, and they work out a separation agreement between themselves, then a Georgia court will enforce it. But a Georgia court will not issue its own separation order.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
    No you can only marry again if you get a divorce, if your husband has remarried check to see if he divorced you.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    You did not say whether your husband has attempted to remarry as a part of his new family. However, persons that are married cannot remarry in the absence of a divorce or it can be bigamy. A legal separation is not the same as a divorce. In a legal separation you are still married but there are court orders with respect to things like property and debt division, child custody, child visitation and child support. I cannot advise you to attempt to marry again until you are legally divorced from your husband.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Regardless of who your boyfriend is, you cannot get married again until you get a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    You need to get a divorce before you remarry. A legal separation is not sufficient.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    My first question is there any children of your marriage? Since you are in a bonafide state of separation and there is no possibility of reconciliation you can get a no fault Divorce and if you have tried and cannot find him he can be served by publication.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Jane Phillipson Wilson, Attorney at Law
    Jane Phillipson Wilson, Attorney at Law | Jane Phillipson Wilson
    You must divorce your husband before you remarry.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Patrick McCarthy
    Patrick McCarthy | Patrick McCarthy
    To whom it may concern: No, not in my view. If you were to get married again after a legal separation only, then you'd be potentially liable for bigamy. The applicable law in Michigan is MCL 700.2801 and reads as follows, in pertinent part: (1) An individual who is divorced from the decedent or whose marriage to the decedent has been annulled is not a surviving spouse unless, by virtue of a subsequent marriage, he or she is married to the decedent at the time of death. A decree of separation that does not terminate the status of husband and wife is not a divorce for purposes of this section. As a result, if you are contemplating remarriage, then other avenues should be considered for you such as a divorce or annulment. You may have a claim for support still, however, I recommend that you speak with an attorney to fully address your options.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 4/30/2012
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    You're boyfriend's origin or immigration status is irrelevant to your question. And no, if you only obtain a judgment of legal separation, you cannot get remarried, as you're still married after obtaining a judgment of separation. If you want to get married again, you need to be single. Meaning, you need to first get a divorce to the person you're currently married to.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Ronee Korbin Steiner PC | Ronee Korbin Steiner
    You can't marry again if you are legally separated; you would have to file/convert to a dissolution and work through that process first. I assume that his family is from an out-of-wedlock arrangement since he couldn't get married either.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Jones Jones & Mosley PA
    Jones Jones & Mosley PA | Bernard Jones
    There is no such thing as a "legal separation" in Mississippi.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC
    The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
    No, unless you want to commit the crime of Bigamy.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Steven Harrell, Attorney at Law | Waymon Steven Harrell
    No. You are legally married in the state of Georgia until your final decree of divorce is signed by the judge, and filed with the clerk of the court. You must produce your final decree of divorce in order to obtain a marriage license in this state if you have been married previously.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Ross Scaccia Attorney at Law | Ross Scaccia
    Were you married to what you call your first husband, who now has another family with 2 children? If so, you must get a divorce, not a legal separation. If your first 'husband' did marry you and now has married a second time, without getting a divorce, he is violating the law. He is a bigamist. If he did get a divorce from you, you should have been notified. Perhaps he did divorce you. In that case you are free to marry If you and your first 'husband' were never married, you are free to marry now without any legal filing.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Lenore Tsakanikas, PLLC
    Law Office of Lenore Tsakanikas, PLLC | Lenore Tsakanikas
    In Arizona, you cannot marry again unless you divorce. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Ivy Law Group PLLC
    Ivy Law Group PLLC | Ruth Emily Vogel
    No, you must first convert your separation to a divorce. It you marry without divorcing then you are committing bigamy, a crime. You may want to see if your husband remarried too!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Norm R Perry. Attorney at Law | Norm R Perry
    No, to legally marry again, your prior marriage must be terminated and a legal separation will not do that. You must either file for divorce or annullment in order to terminate your current marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You have to be divorced - a legal separation means that you are still legally married and are not free to remarry.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    If your former husband has remarried, he is guilty of bigamy. And if you remarry you will be guilty of bigamy. I recommend you obtain a divorce. Legal separation doesn't get it in the USA. Even if he is a foreigner.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    David A. Browde, P.C.
    David A. Browde, P.C. | David Browde
    No. You have to be divorced, not separated.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    No. You cannot legally get married again unless and until you are finally divorced. A separation is not enough to obtain a marriage certificate and the local governmental clerk of whatever town or city in which you live will want to see a final divorce before they will issue you a marriage certificate. By the way, it's not much different to get a divorce than to get a separation, so you might as well do it the right way and get it done properly, than try to do it the wrong way and not really be married the next time. In addition, if your former husband has "married" again, then that marriage is void at the outset and not legitimate - unless he already obtained a Divorce from you without you knowing it. You may want to check the county in which he was living before he married again just to see if he went through the process of getting a divorce before he got married. If he did, then you don't have to also get a divorce. One is enough between the two of you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Milek Law Firm
    Milek Law Firm | Mary Elizabeth Milek
    First of all there is no such thing as legal separation in Mississippi. You are either married or not. If you marry your boyfriend anyway, you could be found guilty of bigamy and could face up to ten years in prison if convicted. I read about a guy that was arrested on this very charge just last month.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    No. By its very nature, a "legal separation" does not terminate a marriage so you are still legally married and marrying again would be bigamy. You need to file for a divorce (a "dissolution of marriage" in Colorado and many other states) - not a legal separation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    No, you have to get divorced. You cannot legally be married to two people at the same time. Even if you cannot find you husband there are ways to to about it, contact an attorney directly for more information.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Heller Law Office, PLC | Donna Heller
    In Arizona, a Legal Separation means that the parties with to live separate and apart. At the end of a legal separation here you are still married. The Legal Separation divides the property and makes orders for custody/parenting time and child/spousal support, where appropriate. You should obtain a consult with qualified family attorney to see if a divorce might be appropriate, or if there is something else you need to do.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Pingelton Law Firm | Dan Pingelton
    You would need to get divorced before you can remarry.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C.
    Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C. | Faye Riva Cohen
    You must get a divorce. There is no legal separation in Pennsylvania, and even if there was, it does not substitute for a divorce requirement. It doesn't matter if he is a foreigner or if he has children with another woman.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Joan M. Canavan | Joan Canavan
    You need to get legally divorced before you can marry again, otherwise you can be charged with and convicted of bigamy. One marriage has to legally end before another one commences regardless of the nationality of your boyfriend.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    You cannot legally marry if you are not divorced. In order to get married, you actually need to get divorced. Being separated is not enough.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    A judgment of legal separation does not make you a single person who can remarry. One of you need to convert the legal separation case to a divorce cases and get a judgment then you will be able to remarry.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    No, unless and until you are divorced you are still married, separated or not- you need to get a formal divorce before getting remarried.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Poling, McGaw & Poling, P.C. | Shannon M. Soliven
    No, you cannot re-marry without getting a divorce from your first husband. A legal separation is not the same as a divorce, and you are therefore not legally allowed to marry someone else even if you are legally separated. There are several reasons some individuals prefer a legal separation rather than divorce, including but not limited to religious beliefs, but unfortunately that does not resolve the issue of remarriage.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Lawson & Weizen, LLP | Michael McDevitt
    You must get divorced before you marry again. Otherwise the second marriage is void.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Kiske Law Office, LLC | Anne Kiske
    A legal separation does not dissolve the first marriage. Therefore, if you legally separate from your first husband, you could not remarry. In order to re-marry, you would need to divorce your first husband.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Neuhaus Law Office
    Neuhaus Law Office | Gregory M. Neuhaus
    In Nebraska you may not legally remarry unless you have divorced. A separation, while similar to a divorce, is different in that regard.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    Until you are legally divorced, you are still married to your husband.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    You can but it will be against the law to do so. You need a divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation
    Elizabeth Jones, A Professional Corporation | Elizabeth Jones
    A legal separation is not the same as a "divorce". You need to end the marriage before you can marry again.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    A legal separation will not allow you to remarry. You must be granted a dissolution to be returned to the status of single person with the right to remarry. While there may be other issues with respect to marrying your boyfriend, they do not impact the dissolution process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Ahluwalia Law P.C.
    Ahluwalia Law P.C. | Madan Ahluwalia
    No. You cannot marry until you are formally divorced.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Timothy Jones | Timothy Jones
    You will need to actually file for divorce. As long as you remain married to him, even if "legally separated," you cannot marry someone else.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Gregory C. Graf
    Gregory C. Graf | Gregory C. Graf
    You cannot marry again until you are divorced; to do so would be a crime. Converting a decree of legal separation into a divorce is very simple. If you don't have a decree of legal separation, you will have to go through the divorce process (called "dissolution of marriage"). That will take 90 days minimum by statute in Colorado. I suggest you contact an attorney who can probably get this going in a relatively simple manner. If you have been separated all these years, I would assume that both of you could reach a quick agreement to enter a decree of dissolution with minimal expense.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    You can get married agains once you are divorced, meaning that your marriage is deemed to have been dissolved.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Joseph F. Hook, Attorney at Law
    Joseph F. Hook, Attorney at Law | Joseph F. Hook
    You cannot remarry until you get divorced.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    A legal separation is not a divorce, the parties still remain married.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Burnett Evans Banks
    Burnett Evans Banks | Paul Evans
    Whether or not your boyfriend is a foreigner, if you have not dissolved your marriage, you cannot remarry. A Legal Separation will not dissolve the marriage. You must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You cannot remarry unless you are divorced.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC
    Law Office of Daniel B. Rubanowitz, APC | Daniel B. Rubanowitz
    I would urge you to make sure that a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is entered or exists on file before you get married again. Just filing a Legal Separation does not take care of the matter. You should consult with a family law attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    If you get a legal separation you are still married and if you marry again it is bigamy.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    If you are legally married, you can't remarry unless your marriage is dissolved by an order the Court (i.e., Decree of Dissolution and related pleadings).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/1/2012
    Shaw Legal Services
    Shaw Legal Services | Anne Shaw
    You must obtain a divorce. A legal separation is not enough under Illinois law. Once you are legally divorced, you may remarry.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/1/2012
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