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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Firefighter failed to finalize divorce, faces bigamy charges

For many Texas residents, their wedding day is likely remembered as one of the happiest days they will ever experience. Finding someone to share the rest of their lives with is an exciting and emotional journey. Though most couples make every effort to make sure both parties have disclosed any potential snags prior to tying the knot, unfortunately, sometimes pertinent information falls through the cracks, such as a divorce that has not been finalized, and the dishonesty or ignorance of one person can devastate the hopes and dreams of the other. 

Sadly, one Texas woman learned this the hard way after she married the man of her dreams. He was a local firefighter, and the two had recently wed and began to plan their future together. The woman's joy quickly turned to panic, however, when she began to receive contact from several other women that she did not know, claiming they were also married to her husband. One of the women went so far as to make the trek from Michigan to Texas, to provide physical proof that the man was legally her husband. 

The woman was in shock, and swiftly kicked the man out of her home and reported her suspicions to law enforcement. After some investigation, it became clear that the man had never bothered to finalize divorces with any of his previous spouses. Law enforcement arrested him for the crime of bigamy. It is reported that at least some of the marriages were the product of common law relationships, laws for which vary from state to state. 

When a person is considering saying " I do," it is important to be sure both parties in a relationship have their ducks in a row. It can be a daunting task to try to wade through a person's past and double check that any legal matters have been handled prior to the big day. In many situations, it can be a good idea to enlist the aid of an experienced family law attorney, who may be able to help couples ensure that matters such as divorce to another party are finalized legally, and will not affect the new couple's journey to happily ever after. 

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