Is Bigamy Legal in UK? – Laws, Penalties, and FAQs

Bigamy Legal UK?

Bigamy marrying someone while still legally married another person. It considered criminal offense UK punishable law. The offense is codified in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which states that a person who knowingly enters into a bigamous marriage commits an offense and is liable to be prosecuted and imprisoned. This law applies men women.

Legal Consequences of Bigamy

As per the law, a person who commits bigamy in the UK can face significant legal consequences. The penalty for bigamy can include imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine, or both. Additionally, bigamous marriage void legal effect. This means any rights benefits would conferred marriage, inheritance property rights, void.

Case Studies

One notable case of bigamy in the UK is the case of Emily Horne, who was sentenced to three months in prison for bigamy. She had married her first husband in 2012 and then went on to marry her second husband in 2016 without getting a divorce. The court found her guilty of bigamy and handed down the prison sentence as a deterrent for others.


According Office National Statistics, 66 prosecutions bigamy UK 2018 2019. This indicates bigamy still prevalent issue country legal action taken commit offense.

It is clear from the legal framework, case studies, and statistics that bigamy is not legal in the UK and carries significant legal consequences. It important individuals aware law ensure legally divorced entering new marriage. The enforcement law consequences commit bigamy serve deterrent protection institution marriage country.

Is Bigamy Legal in the UK? Your Top 10 Legal Questions Answered

Question Answer
1. What bigamy? Bigamy is the act of marrying someone while still being legally married to another person.
2. Is bigamy legal UK? No, bigamy is illegal in the UK and is considered a criminal offense.
3. What Legal Consequences of Bigamy UK? Engaging in bigamy can result in a prison sentence of up to 7 years under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
4. Can a person be prosecuted for bigamy if they were married in another country? Yes, long individual legally married one person, prosecuted bigamy UK.
5. Are exceptions law bigamy UK? No, exceptions law bigamy. It illegal cases.
6. What person unaware spouse still married remarried? Ignorance of a spouse`s existing marriage is not a defense in a bigamy case. The individual can still be prosecuted for bigamy.
7. Can a person be charged with bigamy if their first marriage ended in divorce but they did not complete the necessary legal steps? Yes, person remarries divorce legally finalized, charged bigamy.
8. Can the first spouse take legal action against the bigamist? Yes, the first spouse can pursue legal action against the bigamist for entering into a second marriage.
9. What person discover spouse committing bigamy? The individual should seek legal advice and report the matter to the authorities to initiate legal proceedings against the bigamist.
10. How can someone legally protect themselves from unknowingly entering into a bigamous marriage? Before marrying, individuals should conduct thorough background checks on their partners and ensure that all necessary legal documents are in place to confirm their marital status.

Legal Contract: Bigamy in the UK

This legal contract is entered into as of [Date], between the following parties:

Party 1 Party 2
[Full Legal Name] [Full Legal Name]
[Address] [Address]
[City, State, Zip] [City, State, Zip]
[Phone Number] [Phone Number]

Contract Details

This contract is to address the legality of bigamy in the United Kingdom.

Whereas, Bigamy is the act of marrying someone while still being legally married to another person; whereas, laws regulations concerning bigamy UK subject specific legal provisions statutes, parties hereto hereby agree following terms:

  1. The parties acknowledge Section 57 Offences Against Person Act 1861 criminalizes bigamy England Wales.
  2. The parties further acknowledge Section 1 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, marriage void individual already legally married another person time marriage.
  3. The parties agree bigamy criminal offence UK may result severe legal consequences, including imprisonment fines.
  4. The parties acknowledge legal status bigamy UK may vary Scotland, Northern Ireland, jurisdictions, relevant laws regulations must consulted accordingly.

Based on the foregoing, the parties acknowledge the strict legal prohibition of bigamy in the UK and agree that any actions or conduct contrary to the applicable laws and regulations shall result in legal liability and consequences.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned parties have executed this contract on the date first above written.

Party 1 Signature Party 2 Signature
[Signature] [Signature]
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