Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Bigamy Charges in Iowa

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Iowa Criminal Law » Bigamy Charges in Iowa

The crime of bigamy in Iowa is defined by Iowa Code section 726.1, which provides as follows:


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1.
a. Any person, having a living husband or wife, who marries another, commits bigamy.

b. Any person who marries another who the person knows has another living husband or wife commits bigamy.

2. Bigamy is a serious misdemeanor.


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3. Any of the following is a defense to the charge of bigamy:

a. The prior marriage was terminated in accordance with applicable law, or the person reasonably believes on reasonably convincing evidence that the prior marriage was so terminated.

b. The person believes, on reasonably convincing evidence, that the prior spouse is dead.


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Bigamy is a serious misdemeanor in Iowa, meaning that maximum penalty is 1 year in the county jail.

Bigamy cases do arise more often than a person might think, and can have an effect upon a dissolution of marriage.  Indeed, I have represented multiple people in thei divorce cases where they came to learn that there was a previous marriage that had not been ended, so as to create a bigamy situation.


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