Bristow, VA asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Civil Rights for Virginia

Q: Can my husband marry a second wife overseas? We are married in Islam as well which he’s allowed to marry 4 wives

But at the same time we are legally married in the us

1 Lawyer Answer
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: The U.S. Constitution requires each of the 50 states to give full faith and credit to the valid acts of its sister states. There is no such requirement for the actions of other countries, in the absence of a treaty. Instead, the concept of comity controls. Comity allows a state to recognize the act of a foreign country as valid if it does not offend its strong public policy. The Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes as valid foreign marriages if they are validly celebrated according to the laws of the place where they take place, provided they do not offend the strong public policy of the Commonwealth. Invalid marriages in Virginia may be void or voidable. A voidable marriage is one that could be set aside, but remains valid until done so. A void marriage is a nullity - it never existed. Bigamous marriages are void ab initio in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As such, bigamy offends the strong public policy of the Commonwealth.

Under Virginia Code Section 20-90, any person with a question about the validity of a marriage can file a case to affirm the marriage. Any person with a question about the validity of a marriage in Virginia should consult with an experienced Virginia divorce lawyer.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.