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  1. #1
    starstruck09 is offline Junior Member
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    Exclamation Bigamy after separation

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Virginia & Alabama

    I married my husband in 1961 in the state of Virginia. He abandoned me in 1977. We have not lived together since then. I remained in Virginia and he ended up settling in Alabama. Since our separation, he went on the marry three other women. We never got a divorce. Two of the marriages were annulled. He died last week and all I have wanted was to make sure his estate is properly taken care of and his debts are settled. His fourth wife, is trying to claim that she is his legal wife and that I'm not his wife. I have my marriage license, we were never legally separated, divorced, etc. There was no annulment. He committed bigamy. My husband started receiving Social Security and ended up giving me half. I've been getting social security checks from him, for the last five years.

    The funeral home said that his fourth wife wants her name on the death certificate. The funeral director said he is hesitant to put her name because I have a marriage license and there is no record of legal separation, divorce or annulment. The funeral director doesn't know what to do. He said he may have to put on the death certificate that he didn't have a spouse, he said if that is the case I will no longer be able to receive his social security benefits. What are my options? He supposedly left a will and named our granddaughter as the executor, but his fourth wife and her family have already removed numerous items from the house including things that were in my husbands name alone. I'm so confused and I'm eight hours away from where all of this is going on. Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to provide.
  2. #2
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    You're not going to be able to straighten it out on your own. Contact a lawyer in the state where he died. You can probably ask for the attorney to be paid from his estate since his bigamy is the cause of the expense.

    Realistically, though, you haven't been together for over 30 years - do you really think that in fairness you should get his personal items?
  3. #3
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by starstruck09 View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Virginia & Alabama

    I married my husband in 1961 in the state of Virginia. He abandoned me in 1977. We have not lived together since then. I remained in Virginia and he ended up settling in Alabama. Since our separation, he went on the marry three other women. We never got a divorce. Two of the marriages were annulled. He died last week and all I have wanted was to make sure his estate is properly taken care of and his debts are settled. His fourth wife, is trying to claim that she is his legal wife and that I'm not his wife. I have my marriage license, we were never legally separated, divorced, etc. There was no annulment. He committed bigamy. My husband started receiving Social Security and ended up giving me half. I've been getting social security checks from him, for the last five years.

    The funeral home said that his fourth wife wants her name on the death certificate. The funeral director said he is hesitant to put her name because I have a marriage license and there is no record of legal separation, divorce or annulment. The funeral director doesn't know what to do. He said he may have to put on the death certificate that he didn't have a spouse, he said if that is the case I will no longer be able to receive his social security benefits. What are my options? He supposedly left a will and named our granddaughter as the executor, but his fourth wife and her family have already removed numerous items from the house including things that were in my husbands name alone. I'm so confused and I'm eight hours away from where all of this is going on. Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to provide.
    You are entitled to recieve social security benefits (assuming you are of retirement age, and based on the timeline, you would have to be) against his earnings record as long as you were married to him for at least 10 years, which you were. Therefore, in that respect it really doesn't matter if you get put on his death certificate or not.
  4. #4
    starstruck09 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistoffolees View Post
    You're not going to be able to straighten it out on your own. Contact a lawyer in the state where he died. You can probably ask for the attorney to be paid from his estate since his bigamy is the cause of the expense.

    Realistically, though, you haven't been together for over 30 years - do you really think that in fairness you should get his personal items?
    Thank you. With all due respect, I never said I wanted any of my husbands personal items. We haven't been together in over thirty years, what is his remain his. Our granddaughter is the executor and hasn't been able to get the will probated. I do not want his fourth wife's children taking everything my husband worked so hard for. I don't want anything, he agreed to the arrangement with the social security. He said he wanted me taken care of and that's it. I was just trying to explain that his fourth wife has no right to anything yet she is taking all of his personal items.

    They will not allow my granddaughter on the property and my husband raised her as his own daughter. They are the ones trying to fight over his stuff, not me.
  5. #5
    starstruck09 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    You are entitled to recieve social security benefits (assuming you are of retirement age, and based on the timeline, you would have to be) against his earnings record as long as you were married to him for at least 10 years, which you were. Therefore, in that respect it really doesn't matter if you get put on his death certificate or not.
    Okay, thank you so much. That's all I really needed to know.
  6. #6
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by starstruck09 View Post
    Thank you. With all due respect, I never said I wanted any of my husbands personal items. We haven't been together in over thirty years, what is his remain his. Our granddaughter is the executor and hasn't been able to get the will probated. I do not want his fourth wife's children taking everything my husband worked so hard for. I don't want anything, he agreed to the arrangement with the social security. He said he wanted me taken care of and that's it. I was just trying to explain that his fourth wife has no right to anything yet she is taking all of his personal items.

    They will not allow my granddaughter on the property and my husband raised her as his own daughter. They are the ones trying to fight over his stuff, not me.
    OK. Your post wasn't clear - now it is.

    Your granddaughter is going to have to take action immediately if she's the executor. If she knows that things are being taken from the house and does nothing about it, she could be responsible. She needs to get an attorney involved ASAP (if she hasn't done so already).
  7. #7
    starstruck09 is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you very much. I've told her to get a lawyer and she assured me she had one.

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