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.

Please note that Rainey Collins is not contracted to provide Legal Aid, other than in the Treaty of Waitangi area.  We therefore are unable to take on any Civil or Family Legal Aid work. If you require Legal Aid in those areas, you can search the list of Legal Aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website.