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A Virginia Man is Charged with Two Counts of Bigamy; Faces up to 10 Years in Prison

In Henrico County, Virginia, a man was arrested for two separate counts of bigamy for marrying two different women before finalizing his divorce from his first wife. According to the article, Frank Ernest Blake, Jr. was simply unaware the divorce from his first wife had never been finalized. He states, "I got papers in the mail saying that we were divorced, but evidently you get two sets of papers. I signed my name and everything on it." While Mr. Blake's admitted ignorance of the legal divorce process might mitigate the circumstances of the first count of bigamy, his explanation for his second is less sympathetic. He and his dutiful third wife, Jessica, stated they didn't believe his second marriage was "real," since it was only two weeks in duration before he and his second wife separated.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

California allows prospective spouses to contract their future relationship and marital property rights, including whether or not a community estate will be created during the marriage. A prenuptial agreement can be fairly basic, addressing only a few potential issues, or can be extremely comprehensive. Prenuptial agreements become effective on the date of marriage and are enforceable without consideration; however, for an agreement to be valid, it must be in writing and signed by both parties. Also, it is imperative that both parties enter the agreement voluntarily and with fair and reasonable disclosure of the other party's assets and obligations.

I used my own separate funds (i.e. money I earned and/or acquired prior to marriage) to purchase our home; can I get my money back in a divorce proceeding?

When a Community Property asset was initially purchased with the Separate Property of one spouse, the contributing spouse is deemed to have made a contribution to the acquisition of a Community Property asset. The contributing spouse may be entitled to a Reimbursement for his/her separate property contribution. (Family Code section 2640).

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