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Old 12-14-2013, 08:00 PM
SchrodingersCat's Avatar
SchrodingersCat SchrodingersCat is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 2,130
Default Legal definition of polygamy: Surprise!

I'm sure most of us have heard about the recent ruling in Utah that polygamy is no longer illegal. However, it does not give them the legal right to "legally marry" multiple people, only that living with multiple people in a marriage-like relationship is no longer illegal.

I did some digging, and realized that what many of us consider to be completely kosher... totally isn't. Legally, I mean. Ethically Shmethically.

It depends on the jurisdiction of course. But in most of North America, having a legally married spouse, and living with another person in a conjugal relationship (defined as "marriage-like," as in being in a romantic relationship, sharing household responsibilities, being financially linked, sharing parenting responsibilities) is legally defined as polygamy, and is still illegal.

All along, we've been operating on here as though it's only illegal to get two marriage licenses, go down to the courthouse twice, and marry two people, without getting a divorce in between. Nope! Actually, even living in the same house with your two partners, having sex and sharing responsibilities, is illegal even if you don't legally marry either one of them.

Apparently, even having a religious / spiritual ceremony counts as entering a conjugal union, even if you don't live together or share household responsibilities, and is therefore illegal. I've seen many people suggest on here that this is completely legal because you're not getting legally married, but apparently that is not the case.

For the record, "cheating" is still perfectly legal. There's no law forbidding you from having a spouse at home, and a girlfriend or boyfriend that you go visit and have dates with. Different matter for divorce court, of course, and depends even more on the jurisdiction. But not legally considered to be polygamy.

I totally did not know that. Did you?
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Gralson: my husband (works out of town).
Auto: my girlfriend (lives with her husband Zoffee).

The most dangerous phrase in the English language is "we've always done it this way."

Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 12-14-2013 at 08:15 PM.
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