Bigamy-The offense of willfully and knowingly having more than one wife or husband at the same time. The offense of willfully and knowingly entering into a second marriage while validly married to another individual is bigamy.
The law in America bans a man or a woman from being married to more than one living person at a time. This is called Bigamy if you do the opposite of the law. The legal system in America says that polygamist practice bigamy even though , per my research, most if not all polygamist are not legally married to any wife but the first wife. The reason why it is still considered bigamy is because of common law(A union of two people not formalized in the customary manner as prescribed by law but created by an agreement to marry followed by cohabitation) and cohabitation(A living arrangement in which an unmarried couple lives together in a long-term relationship that resembles a marriage). Supposedly this whole common law deal started in England because polygamy was against the norm(you know monogamy is the norm, therefore, everyone must do it, right? puh-leeze).
The question when talking about marriage is whether the union is legally recognized. One of the big legal things in the polygamy is…..property. Why??? Because marriage affects property ownership, rights of survivorship, spousal benefits, and other marital amenities, because of this marriage is regulated by the government.
So with that said, in polygamy the second, third, and so wives are not legally bound to the husband because the law doesn’t recognize the marriages. Can they file joint taxes, get spousal benefits…No (not unless it’s fraudulent and how many are willing to risk even more) Just like LGB people can’t because common law and cohabitation are meaningless when it come to the law.Ok, so, therefore, any additional spouses after the first, isn’t legally a spouse.Whatever property is left to them is specified in their “husband’s” will, which is legally binding.
Polygamy-The offense of willfully and knowingly having more than one wife or husband at the same time. The offense of willfully and knowingly entering into a second marriage while validly married to another individual is bigamy.
Well if polygamist isn’t attempting fraud by claiming multiple “wives” on legal papers, filing joints taxes,ect., then why are they called bigamist. Especially since precedent (gay marriage) says that their marriages that are built on principles of common law and cohabitation, and marriage of the heart/soul,ect, doesn’t have to be acknowledged by the law. To me, it feels like somebody’s government is trying to shove their religious and personal taste down our throats. *cough* America *cough*
(Quick and compressed definitions shown are from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com . I promise I read up on the topic and posted what I understood from it.)