Even before Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, Diocletian and Maximian passed strict anti-polygamy laws in 285 AD that prescribed monogamy as the only form of legal marital relationship, as was traditionally the case in classical Greece and Rome. [Citation needed] In 393, the Roman Emperor Theodosius I issued an imperial edict to extend the prohibition of polygamy to Jewish communities. In 1000, Rabbi Gershom ben Judah decided that polygamy was inadmissible in Ashkenazi Jewish communities living in a Christian environment. «Bigamy.» dictionary Merriam-Webster.com, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigamy. Retrieved 4 October 2022. On the European continent, bigamy is punished in most countries with different prison sentences, with or without forced labour, depending on the circumstances of the case. A person who knowingly enters into a bigamous marriage has committed the crime of bigamy. Although it is theoretically a crime, in practice it is rarely prosecuted unless it is a fraudulent scheme to obtain another person`s property or to commit another crime. In Scotland at the time of the only law that respects bigamy, that of 1551, cap. 19 The offence appears to have been regarded, mainly from a religious point of view, as a form of perjury or violation of the solemn vow or oath used at the time to conclude the marriage; and as a result, he was ordered to be punished with the just pain of perjury. BIGAMY (from Latin to, twice, and Gr.
yaμos, marriage), in English law, according to the law now in force (24 and 25 Vict. v. loo, § 57), the offence committed by a person who is «married may marry another person during the life of the former husband or wife». In canon law, the word had a somewhat broader meaning, and the marriage of an employee in smaller professions to a widow fell within its scope. At the Council of Lyon (1274 AD), the bigamics were deprived of their privilege of the clergy. This canon was adopted and explained by an English law of 1276; And so bigamy became a common counter-argument to the clergy`s claim. However, a law of 1547 purported to grant the same to any person entitled to the favor of the clergy, «even if he has been married several times to a single woman or woman, or to a widow or widow, or to two or more women.» A bigamous marriage is simply void under the canon law of England. A law of 1604 declared the crime a crime. This Act, after its repeal in 1828, was re-enacted and reproduced in the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861. It does not matter whether the second marriage took place in England and Ireland or elsewhere, and the offence can be dealt with in any county or place where the accused is to be arrested or detained. BIGAMY, crim. Law, internal relations.
the deliberate taking of a second marriage, if the contracting party knows that the first still exists; Or it is the condition of a man who has two wives, or a woman who has two husbands who live at the same time. If the man has more than two wives or the woman lives more than two husbands at the same time, then the party is said to have committed polygamy, but the name bigamy is more often given to this crime in court proceedings. 1 Russ. auf Cr. 187. 2. In England, this crime is punishable by statistics. 1 jac.
1, c. 11, which makes the offence a criminal offence, but exempts from punishment the party whose husband or wife remains absent for seven years before the second marriage without being heard and persons who must be legally divorced. The legal provisions in the United States against bigamy or polygamy are generally similar and copied from the 1 jac law. 1, c. 11, except the penalty. The various exceptions to this law are also almost the same in U.S. laws, but the punishment for the offense is different in many states. 2 Kent, Com. 69; empty Tray. From.
h. t.; Com. Dig. Judge, § 5; Merlin, Repert. word bigamy; Code, lib. 9, Tit. 9, 1, 18; and Lib. 5, Tit.
5, 1. 2. 3. According to canonists, bigamy is threefold, namely: (vera, interpretative, and similitudinaria,) real, interpretative, and similitudiary. The first was to marry two women one after the other (virgins that they may be) or to marry a widow once; the second was not a repeated marriage, but the marriage (v. g. meretricem vel ab alio corruptam) of one; The third was born of two marriages, but one metaphorical or spiritual, the other carnal. The latter was limited to people who were initiated into sacred orders or under the vow of abstinence. Déferraires Traktat, Juris Canon. titmouse.
xxi. See also Bac. Abr. h. t.; 6 Discrete, 1.12. Also marriage. These sample phrases are automatically selected from various online information sources to reflect the current use of the word «bigamy.» The opinions expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us your feedback. There may be legal defenses for a charge of bigamy. There is no national database to search for and determine whether a person is married when applying for a marriage certificate. For this reason, most states excuse a person who reasonably believes that their previous marriage was dissolved by annulment, death, or divorce. After this step, the spouse can go to a local law enforcement agency and file a complaint against their spouse for bigamy.
They may want to discuss the possible sanctions and consequences in their jurisdiction with a lawyer before doing so in order to know what outcome they can expect. Another example may be when a spouse is absent and has not been heard for 7 years or in some states for five years and it is not known that he or she is alive or likely dead. In this case, remarriage by the other spouse is not considered bigamy. In some cases, it may be possible to prove that bigamy occurred without a marriage document. For example, the prosecutor may support their case by presenting evidence such as: In many cases, people accidentally commit bigamy when they marry believing that their previous marriage is resolved. For example, if the person believes that their previous marriage was terminated by a divorce or a judgment on the nullity of the marriage. n. the condition of having two wives or two husbands at the same time. A marriage in which one of the parties is already legally married is bigam, void and a ground for annulment. A person who knowingly enters into a bigamous marriage is guilty of the crime of bigamy, but is rarely prosecuted unless it is part of a fraudulent plan to obtain someone else`s property or another crime. Sometimes people accidentally commit bigamy, usually believing that a previous marriage has been dissolved. The most famous case in the United States is that of Andrew Jackson and his wife Rachel Robards.
Ms Robards` husband had applied for divorce, but it had not been granted at the time of her second marriage (the consent of the legislator was required). She finished the divorce, and then the Jacksons remarried. Jackson was ashamed all his life of his negligence (he was a lawyer and judge) that had damaged his wife`s reputation. Having several wives at the same time is called «polygamy» and being married to several husbands is «polyandry». A valid marriage must first and foremost be proven to support an accusation of bigamy. A questionable marriage, such as marriages between persons in the forbidden degrees before the Marriage Act of 1836, will suffice, but an absolutely null marriage, as all such marriages are now, will not. For example, if a woman married B during her husband`s lifetime A and after the death of A C during B`s lifetime, her marriage to C is not bigam because her marriage to B was null. With regard to the second marriage (which is the offence), the English courts have held that it is irrelevant whether or not it would have been a valid marriage without bigamy.