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Facebook Used to Catch Bigamist

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By Laura Strachan, Esq. on August 04, 2010 1:16 PM

Facebook is a great tool for getting in touch with old friends, keeping current with family, and catching your husband marrying another woman in a lavish Disney World wedding. Ok, maybe the last one occurs less frequently than the other two, but that is exactly what happened to a Cleveland, Ohio woman.

The Ohio housewife turned Facebook detective discovered all the key details of her husband's second marriage through the "public" Facebook profile of wife number two, according to NBC News. "We were able to decipher that they were getting married at Disney World. That she was registered at Target. They had been together since '07. She was living at his home in Florida. We found that all through Facebook." No news as to whether she has switched her Facebook profile to private following the discovery.

The unidentified woman states that she plans on using all of the Facebook wedding images in the pending divorce proceedings against her bigamist husband. This social media discovery begs the question ... what role will bigamy charges play in a divorce proceeding? A person commits bigamy if he or she marries someone while knowingly still married to someone else. Bigamy is a crime in every state (sterotypes aside, including Utah) and punishable by fines, imprisonment, or both depending on the circumstances. By definition, bigamy requires that the individual knowingly enter into a second marriage. Thus, those instances in which there was a reasonable belief that a divorce was already granted, or the original marriage was invalid do not fall under this crime.

Being legally married to wife number one essentially means that the fairy tale second wedding was never a valid marriage. Of course, there is a twist to this story. The husband's lawyer claims that the husband was never officially married to wife number one because of clerical problems relating to their 2005 Italian wedding, according to Lemondrop.com. Should this be the case, then a divorce is still possible and although there may be different titles to attribute to the husband, bigamist would not be one of them.

It seems like this man's happily ever after is going to have to wait until he sorts through the divorce issues and potential bigamy charges with his first wife. In the meantime, for those of you curious as to what a Disney World wedding entails, the bride and groom were dressed as Sleeping Beauty and Prince Charming.

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