The legal aspect of second marriage is a complex area of family law that encompasses a range of considerations, from the legality of remarriage to the rights and obligations of the individuals involved. In many jurisdictions, marriage is not only a personal commitment but also a legally binding contract that carries significant implications for property, inheritance, and other rights. However, when individuals seek to marry again while still legally married to another person, they confront legal hurdles and potential consequences.

Central to the legal aspect of second marriage is the concept of bigamy. Bigamy, the act of marrying someone while already being legally married to another person, is generally prohibited and considered a criminal offence in most jurisdictions. Laws surrounding bigamy aim to uphold the integrity of marriage contracts, protect the rights of individuals, and maintain social order.

Legal Aspect:

Bigamy: Bigamy is the act of marrying someone while already being legally married to another person. It is considered a criminal offence in most jurisdictions. The legality of a second marriage depends on various factors such as divorce, annulment, or death of the previous spouse. In many places, marrying someone while still legally married to another person can result in severe legal consequences including fines and imprisonment.

Legal Concerns:

  • Property Rights: Second marriages may affect property rights, inheritance, and financial obligations. Without proper legal documentation like prenuptial agreements, there could be disputes over assets and liabilities.
  • Custody Issues: In cases where one or both partners have children from previous marriages, custody issues may arise in the event of divorce or death.
  • Spousal Benefits: Some benefits, such as social security benefits, may be affected by remarriage.

Ethical Aspect:

Trust and Honesty: Ethically, entering into a second marriage while still legally married to another person violates principles of trust and honesty. It may cause emotional harm to all parties involved, including the new spouse, the ex-spouse, and any children.

Commitment: Marriage is often considered a commitment between two individuals. Engaging in a second marriage without resolving the first one may be seen as a breach of that commitment.

Social Institution and Societal Norms:

Social Institution of Marriage: Marriage is a social institution with cultural and legal significance. Second marriages challenge traditional notions of marriage as a lifelong commitment and may face resistance or stigma in some societies.

Societal Norms: Societal norms around marriage vary across cultures and religions. While some societies may be more accepting of divorce and remarriage, others may view it as taboo or morally wrong.

Impact on Family and Community: Second marriages can have implications for families and communities. They may disrupt existing family structures and relationships, leading to tension or conflict among family members.

Beyond the legal implications, second marriages also raise ethical concerns related to honesty, trust, and commitment. Marrying again without properly addressing the previous marital status can lead to emotional harm for all involved parties. Additionally, societal norms and cultural values surrounding marriage play a significant role in shaping attitudes towards second marriages, which can vary widely across different communities and cultures.

Under Family Law :

Under the Family Court Act, the legal aspect of second marriage is primarily governed by provisions related to marriage, divorce, and family matters. Here’s an overview of the legal aspects of second marriage under the Family Court Act:


  1. Validity of Marriage: The Family Court Act typically recognizes marriages that are legally performed according to the laws of the jurisdiction where the marriage took place. If a person enters into a second marriage while still legally married to another person, it may constitute bigamy, which is generally illegal.
  2. Void and Voidable Marriages: The Act may specify circumstances under which a marriage is considered void (invalid from the beginning) or voidable (valid until annulled). For example, if one of the parties was already married at the time of the second marriage, it could render the subsequent marriage void.

Divorce and Dissolution:

  1. Grounds for Divorce: Family Court Acts often outline the grounds on which a marriage can be dissolved, which may include adultery, cruelty, desertion, or irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
  2. Division of Property: In the event of divorce, the Family Court may oversee the equitable distribution of property acquired during the marriage. This includes assets acquired in both the first and second marriages.
  3. Custody and Support: The Act may address issues related to child custody, visitation rights, and child support, especially if there are children from previous marriages involved in the second marriage.


  1. Annulment Proceedings: If a marriage is void or voidable, either party may seek an annulment from the Family Court. Annulment effectively declares the marriage null and void, as if it never legally existed.

Legal Consequences:

  1. Bigamy: Engaging in a second marriage while still legally married to another person is often considered a criminal offence under the Family Court Act. The Act may outline penalties for bigamy, which could include fines, imprisonment, or both.
  2. Spousal Benefits: Entering into a second marriage may affect spousal benefits such as insurance, pension, or social security benefits, particularly if there are existing claims from a previous marriage.


In conclusion, the legal aspect of second marriage is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires careful consideration of various factors under the Family Court Act. While marriage is a fundamental right, it comes with legal responsibilities and obligations that must be addressed, especially in the context of remarriage.

Under the Family Court Act, the concept of bigamy is explicitly addressed, prohibiting individuals from entering into a second marriage while still legally married to another person. Bigamy is generally considered a criminal offence and can lead to severe legal consequences.

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