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I found out my husband was still married when we got married. Do I have to get an annulment in order to marry someone else?

1 Answers. Asked on Feb 14th, 2012 on Divorce - Virginia
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I spoke with a lawyer and she''s trying to charge me 1,000.00 for an annulment and I don''t understand why I need one if the marriage is not valid. I plan to marry my boyfriend later this year and need to know if i have to get an annulment in order to marry him.
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Answered on Feb 16th, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Because your husband was still married to someone else at the time, your marriage is null and void.  Many people like to get an annulment, so that the paperwork in the vital records office is straight and for other reasons, such as making changes to health care coverage, but it is not required.  Also, when there are property issues involved, an annulment may be necessary to straighten out what belongs to whom.  

This answer is given in accordance with the laws of Virginia and may not be applicable in any other state.  It should not be construed as legal advice, as that would require a more thorough analysis of all of the facts involved in a specific case.

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Ending a marriage is more than just an emotional process--it's also a legal process. The court must approve your "dissolution of marriage" petition, and will also rule on issues related to the division of property, alimony (also known as spousal support or maintenance), child custody and child support. A divorce or family law attorney can help guide you through the divorce process, while also negotiating with your soon-to-be ex-spouse and his or her divorce lawyer. It's important to note that ethics laws prohibit the same law firm or attorney from representing both spouses in a divorce. Even if your divorce is an amicable one, it's critical to have your own legal representation to ensure that you're treated fairly at all stages of the divorce proceeding.
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