A woman recently had her marriage officially declared void by the Family Court as the man was still married to his first wife overseas. 

The woman thought she was married to her husband, and had children with him, but the marriage was not legal.  This will not have an effect on relationship property situation however, as they were still in a de facto relationship.

Bigamy in New Zealand has a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.  The man is yet to be sentenced for the offence.

Although bigamy is a rare event, it is important to ensure that if you are in a situation where you are looking to get remarried, that you legally dissolve any previous marriage prior to entering into your next marriage.  It is also important to remember that you must be separated from your previous spouse for two years before you can apply for a dissolution of marriage under New Zealand law. 

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-price Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.


If you are a New Zealand Super Gold Card Holder (Australian Senior Cards do not qualify) we will give you a 75% discount off our initial 1 hour consultation fee. We will also give you a 17.5% discount off the first matter we handle for you and then 12.5 % off any subsequent matters for you.  These discounts relate to your personal matters only (i.e. not business or organisational matters).