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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10226
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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When my wife and I got married we thought that her ex had

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When my wife and I got married we thought that her ex had sorted out their devoice but we later found out that he had not so we would like to know how we sort this out.

Hello - how did you find out that the divorce wasnt finalised?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
My wife is South African and we went to change her surname on her passport while out there and that is when we found out.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
what we would like to know is what we have to do to make this right
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
sorry are you still there? cause we would really need to know what to do

I am not able to call you at the moment and I am off-line shortly but can speak tomorrow if that’s convenient.

Meanwhile, it appears that she is not divorced which means that you are not married. If she has got married, she has committed a criminal offence, bigamy. Lack of knowledge is not a defence.. What do you mean by “sort this out”. Do you simply mean that she needs to get divorced?

That’s actually what she needs. Simple as that.

She can change a name on the passport by effecting a Deed Poll or Statutory Declaration and filling in the relative form to change the name on the passport but in respect of the divorce, she will need to recommence divorce proceedings and you will need to get remarried otherwise you are not legally married.

.Can I clarify anything for you?

I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

Please take a moment to look at the top right hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen. It’s important you use the rating service because that gives me credit. It doesn’t just give me a pat on the head! All you need to do is press Submit. Thank you. If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
She has divorced her ex but the thing is we got married then found out that she was still married she then got the divorce but we now want to know where we stand? can we now go and get remarried? we really need to know what to do. Please can you help. If possible could you call me around 3pm to discuss this matter. Thank you

Simple. You are not married.

She was not free to marry because she was already married.

She may now be divorced but that doesn’t suddenly overnight make your marriage legal.

I will endeavour to call you at about 3 PM tomorrow. I have made a note in my diary.

The process is that you now just get married.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
To confirm there is no need to do anything further even though our marriage has been registered in UK

I don't know what you mean when you say your marriage has been registered in the UK.

The fact remains that you want not married. One of you was already married and the spouse of that person was still alive at the time of your second, "marriage" and therefore, apart from the bigamy (criminal offence) your marriage is illegal/void.

You are not married.

If you want to be married, then you need to get remarried.