Florida man married to two women escapes charges due to legal loophole

When a couple grows apart and the emotional bond that brought them together is beyond any hope of repair, it is likely time to pursue a divorce. However, many couples that would likely benefit from a dissolution of marriage often choose to remain together for a variety of reasons, including lingering feelings/inability to say goodbye, concern for the children and certain financial issues.

Unfortunately, one Florida woman’s inability to terminate her rather lengthy – and sometimes problematic – marriage to her husband has resulted in feelings of anger, betrayal and frustration with the legal system.

According to sources, Heather B. made a shocking discovery last year concerning her on-again, off-again husband of the last 10 years, Tait B.

Specifically, she discovered that the husband with whom she always enjoyed a tumultuous yet cordial relationship – even declining to divorce Tait B. back in 2008 when they went their separate ways so he could have access to her employee benefits – had married another woman, Amy B., in Las Vegas back in 2005.

As it turned out, Tait B. had been married to two women for at least five years, fathering children with both of them.

“I stayed married to this man so he could have health-insurance benefits,” said Heather B. “This is my kids’ Dad.”

While Heather B. was understandably dismayed by the discovery, she became even more dismayed when she learned that Tait B., who had been arrested on bigamy charges, would not be prosecuted in the state of Florida.

The reason?

Under Florida law, anyone who marries another person while their original spouse is still alive has committed bigamy, a third-degree felony. However, this law appears to have one major loophole: if at least one of the marriages took place outside the state of Florida, the state lacks jurisdiction and cannot pursue criminal charges.

Here, since Tait B. married Amy B. in Nevada, Florida law prosecutors could not pursue the matter and were forced to forward the necessary paperwork on to Nevada, the scene of the purported crime.

Heather B., feeling betrayed by her spouse, expressed shock upon learning that prosecutors had decided not to pursue the case.

“The law needs to be changed,” she said. “It’s crazy that people can live like this.”

It is worth noting that Tait B. officially filed for divorce from Heather B. several months after being arrested.

To learn more about dissolution of marriage or life after divorce, contact an experienced and skilled legal professional.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Names have been withheld to protect the identity of the parties.

Stay tuned for more from our Ft. Worth family law blog …

Related Resources:

State attorney: Man married to 2 women is not in violation of Florida law (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel)