From The Daily Mail:

The golden rule of getting away with a bigamous wedding must be this: Don’t invite anyone who was there the first time round.

Sadly, this small yet crucial detail escaped Randolf Edge, 54, in his haste to marry a woman 33 years his junior.

A guest who had also been at his first wedding tipped off King’s Lynn Register Office in Norfolk.

And a quick check of the records proved that Edge had tied the knot with 21-year- old Patience Carey while still married to his estranged wife Edna. He was quickly arrested.

A lot of people out of Deseret think that the (non-FLDS) Mormons secretly approve of or engage in polygamy, though in truth I’ve never met a group so preoccupied with denouncing it (in current day) than when I was out there. As was pointed out about the Republican primary, the only candidate that ran that had only one wife was Mitt Romney (until Huckabee entered the race).

As luck would have it, I did know of a polygamist while I was out there. After getting married and divorced a couple times, Carol Goddard’s father decided that divorce was too expensive so he got remarried a couple times without one. His previous marriages were functionally over, but not legally. The federal government eventually caught up with him. The FBI didn’t care, but the IRS did.

So here’s a question… was what Mr. Goddard did all that wrong? Could we replace the current system with one where a new marriage nullifies an old? Having never been divorced, I’m not sure what the full ramifications of that would be.

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6 Responses to Post #982

  1. Webmaster says:

    I think that’d cause a whole messe of complaints – part of the getting-divorced proceedings is the separation process (mostly financial in nature), part of it is re-establishing identity if someone changes their name.

    Without those, what happens? Someone runs off, gets remarried in another state… and all of a sudden the wife gets a phone call saying “well you’re divorced, but he took the kids with him and has a new wife, has a job while you have none, and has all the assets except the house with him… and you get to pay the taxes on the house since you live there now. Happy single life!”

    I think it’s important that the full separation happen before a remarriage, for some very pragmatic reasons.

  2. Willard Lake says:

    Though I praise his attempt at simplifying the entire process, I also believe that having to sort out all the financial and personal baggage while in another legal relationship would be quite difficult.

  3. trumwill says:

    You guys are probably right.

    An alternative possibility: We have common-law marriages, why not common-law divorce? I agree with Web that separation needs to occur first, but Mr Goddard was functionally divorced. The property had (presumably) been split up however they were going to do it and the living arrangements for the kids was dealt with in one way or another.. The wife changed her name back or chose not to (some women choose not to, particularly if they have kids). An added benefit is that it would prevent some people from dragging out court proceedings forever, as I’ve seen happen before.

    (I can’t say that this is something I feel very strongly about… some monumental problem or injustice… I’m just thinking aloud)

  4. Willard Lake says:

    I doubt there would have been much of a fight if Mr. Goddard had gone the “official” route, as there seems to have been amicable (enough) arrangements made without the courts involved. If someone wants your stuff, however, and you don’t want to give it to them, the only way I can think to solve that stalemate would involve a judicial body of some kind… or homocide, which will probably lead back to the aforementioned judicial body.

  5. trumwill says:

    I doubt there would have been much of a fight if Mr. Goddard had gone the “official” route

    Depends on how mutual the split is. I’ve known some divorced cases wherein property wasn’t the issue but they dragged their feet for very long periods of time because they didn’t want the marriage to split. My friend Tony only signed his divorce papers because his then-new girlfriend made him. He’d held out for a year and a half.

    to the aforementioned judicial body

    Actually, it’s probably a different judicial body. Except in Louisiana, where they have the Napoleonic Code with bi-purpose civil/criminal courts.

  6. Willard Lake says:

    and that ‘NE VARIETUR’ crap on certain notaries.

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