Stop International Bigamous Marriage By **** ***** (with Roshni Mathan Pereira)
Bigamy is a serious crime in most of countries. If a bigamous marriage involves individuals from more than one country, the process to track down the cases is not well established. The intention of this article to shed some light on it. In the USA, the punishment for bigamy and enforcement of the crime varies between jurisdictions. In the state of Illinois, bigamy is a Class 4 felony and punishment can be up to $25,000 and/or 1-3 years in penitentiary. Bigamy laws of each state in the US and the consequences of being convicted of bigamy are listed on the website http://fightbigamy.typepad.com/
In India, whoever, having an existing husband or wife living, marries in any case in which such marriage is void by reason of its taking place during the life of such husband or wife, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine. Indian Government is taking serious actions against bigamist to stop "Holiday Marriages" which are performed intentionally to exploit someone during their short stay in India. In some part of India, uneducated people consider a widow as a curse in the society. If that widow is not self-dependent, such kind of false conceptions makes her life further miserable. Worst of all, if an NRI (Non Resident Indian) visits India during holidays/vacation, marries an uneducated widow for 15 days and 15 nights and fly back to USA as free bird to start fishing again. This deception not only pours oil in the fire, but increases anger in the society. Such kind of crimes are getting high attention from the Indian Police and Indian Govt.
Con-artists takes full advantage of poor enforcement of laws in India. They marry women in India and women abroad to exploit them and not for a loving marriage. If you believe that your relationship is full of all secrecy due to a bigamous nature, there is no hope that it can ever be a loving marriage to you. That marriage can be for a specific exploitation purpose. If you see symptoms like the following:
1. spouse keeps most of the matters secret from you.
2. spouse lies to you frequently.
3. spouse does not allow you to receive incoming phone calls.
4. spouse doesn't allow you to answer/touch his/her cell phone.
5. spouse doesn't introduce his/her family members and friends to you.
6. marriage is not consummated and spouse is not interested in a physical relationship with you due to guilt
7. spouse keeps expenses charged to joint financial accounts secret.
8. spouse harassing for your income for mortgage and bill payments and threatening you.
9. spouse spreading false allegations against you and claiming him as a victim of mental cruelty.
10.spouse comes home late every night for no believable reason.
11. spouse doesn't walk, talk, dine, sleep, care or share for anything with you
These may be classic signs of deception.
There is no reason to work as a slave in that house. Most women may hope that they would have a healthy, normal marriage one day and may keep working hard, cooking, cleaning after working outside of the house for 8-10 hours at their own jobs despite of not getting any love or respect in their marriage. The bigamous nature of a marriage will never change and we must stop the root cause and avoid anyone in that situation. People don't know they are marrying anyone with a pre-existing spouse and ruining their life. So, deceiving person must be punished. The detailed process or steps to follow in international bigamous marriage are given below. While writing this article, it is assumed that bigamist is a man here though it could be woman in some cases.
Steps to stop the root cause of Bigamy
Step # 1: Any person would like to marry someone who is trustworthy and safe legally. You will try to obtain the past information about him, his past relations. There is no harm in asking about his past relationships before marriage. Answer could be vague e.g. relations are built on trust and no need to ask such questions but since you asked..., I dated many US women, travelled with many, proposed some but they rejected, sometimes I didn't like as they were doing my background verification, dated some Indian women, had small pooja ceremony with my friend/relative and claimed as marriage but that was not a legal marriage etc. If you try to get more details, names, contacts from him, you may not have any luck. Most of the times con artist will not give you any clue but will tell you how good you are and how bad other women were in his past relations. You will be impressed with his honesty temporarily but will realize that your attempts failed here to get right contacts. "Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies."--Oliver Goldsmith. If you feel suspicious, don't marry that guy. If you marry him by mistake and found that you are in a bigamous marriage, follow steps further.
Step #2 Try to contact his friends, relatives and ask about his previous marriages. You may get some or little info, but most of the friends tell you to ask your husband only and avoid to get involved. Some people will try to protect this criminal despite of knowing his past relationships for selfish reasons. Find out legal information about him from the county courts where he lived in past. All court records are public records and obtainable. If any ..find out about his previous marriages, divorces, child support non-payments, other non-payment law suits, civil, criminal cases against etc. All cases and case numbers are available on that county's court website.
Step #3 If your spouse doesn't allow you to answer the phone calls, try answering phone calls when your spouse is not home (assuming somebody calls for the spouse when spouse is not at home) and try to communicate with the calling person. If the phone call is from his previous wife, or if the caller refuses to tell his/her name or asks surprising questions to you, get some details and where-about of the caller. Try to note down the call numbers when your spouse prevents you from answering phone calls (assuming that most of US residents have caller ID). Spouse will try to delete call numbers from caller Id history. If you have several phone sets, try to see if he has deleted the history on all instruments and you may have some luck in retrieving phone history. Otherwise, contact telephone provider and get history for specific period.
Step #4 Make phone calls to the secret numbers that you manage to retrieve from a phone that the spouse doesn't have access to. Try to get details of the person at the other end, your spouse's marriage such as when, where the marriage was solemnized, people attended, priest who performed etc. and keep a record of your communication. You may see many discrepancies between what your husband told you and what the true story could be. Don't confront your husband but be glad that you know the other side of story now which could be a true story.
Step #5 If the earlier marriage is confirmed from several sources, it is a crime and Class 4 felony in most of the states in USA. Your marriage becomes invalid legally and you should start processing for "Invalidity of Marriage" instead of living in this situation forever. (a) If the earlier marriage took place in USA, there will be a record available in the county of the state where it was registered. Get those public records to file the police complaint. (b) If the previous marriage took place in India, you can ask for RTI (Right To Information) from the marriage registration bureau of the state government of the state where marriage took place. This website is helpful. http://www.rtiindia.org/directory/
There is a standard application that needs to be submitted with a nominal fees of Rs. 10 postal order per RTI. Within a week or two, you will get the information on the marriage. (c) If the marriage is not registered and also not confirmed by the RTI also, the marriage is still valid by Hindu Marriages Act. 1955, if the marriage took place before Nov 2009. (d) If the marriage took place after Nov 2009, even if it is registered under the Hindu Marriages Act. 1955, the Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872, the Special Marriage Act 1954, the Muslim Shariat Marriage Act and all other marriages done under any other law, the marriage is required to be compulsorily registered under Section 3 of Marriages Registration Rules 2009.
Step #6 In (a) when both marriages took place in the USA, the police act promptly and prosecute upon confirmation. In cases of (b) and (c) this becomes an international bigamy case, and you will have to file police complaints in both countries (USA and India). If you are a domicile of the same state in India where his previous marriage took place, then you can file a FIR (First Information Report) in that state. In case you are a domicile of another state, then you can file a FIR in your home state of India. NRI (Non Resident Indian) with Indian citizenship can file a FIR. If you are a US citizen or permanent resident and living in USA, then you can file a complaint to the following government organizations who help victims of bigamous marriages and forward the matter to respective jurisdiction.
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
9th Floor, Akbar Bhawan, Chankya Puri
New Delhi - 110 021, India
Phone Number: +91(11) 2419 7900
National Comission for Women
4. Deen Dayal Upadhayaya Marg, New Delhi 110 002,
Phone # +91 11 23237166, complaint cell # 91 11 23219750
These organizations issue a file number and forward the matter to the respective State of Government and then to the respective COP, (Commissioner of Police) in India. You can visit them personally and request to assist you in this investigation and allow recording during the investigation. During investigations, undercover inspector helps a lot if you are not familiar with the local language of that state and provides a investigation report to COP. It is always helpful to take journalist, media people with you during investigations as they play key roles. Most of the media and journalist can do audio/video recording legally. This audio/video recording of their statements, true story from various people can be telecasted on Television when necessary. These witnesses/investigations are helpful. If one person is trying to influence other party to testify in his/her favor and changing the real story, media can get involved to telecast the recorded true story and submit to the court as witness. The US police compliant can prosecute after receiving confirmation from the Indian police.
Step #7 Invalidity of marriage: By law your marriage becomes invalid as his prior marriage exists and you need to file for invalidity in the family court. Make sure that your attorney has dealt with international matters before. Their experience does not have to be related to bigamy but it could be related to child adoption cases, etc and the attorney knows the procedure for international cases. After filing for invalidity of marriage due to bigamous nature, bigamist has two choices, first to plead guilty or second to apologize to one of the two wives who can be easily manipulated. Two or multiple wives realize that there is no love although they ended up in this situation. However, a con artist will try to manipulate one of the two who is unemployed or less educated, less courageous, no other means of survivals, desperate to come to USA, easy to deceive her again. He will try to be close to her and will play the game of love and force her testify in his favor. In some situation, both wives could be educated, employed and bigamist will try to manipulate one of the two who is most likely has less support from her family, less courageous to fight against bigamist.
Step # 8 If the bigamist denies his first marriage in the US court, don't be surprised. The expert con artist is trying to fool the US court this time after having fooled many. Don't give up. Request your attorney to issue a Letter of Rogatory for international investigation. A Letter of Rogatory is a letter of request from a court in one country to a court in another country requesting international judicial assistance. It is a device used by a tribunal of one sovereign nation to request a tribunal of another sovereign nation to obtain testimony or other evidence from a person located in the latter country. Letter of Rogatory will contain the name of bride/groom who will testify and confirm the marriage. If the previous spouse is in hiding in because of husband's influence or the promise of money/other promises from him, you can add as many witnesses as you can including who attended this marriage, or know about this marriage. It may include his family, friends, neighborhood people, priest, people from the venue where they live or marriage took place. Some questions can also be added as guidelines to the Indian judge from the US court though Indian court is not obliged to follow the same questionnaire. Bigamist may oppose issuance of letter of rogatary through his lawyer. If US judge feels that the letter of Rogatory is relevant and issue a court order for an investigation in India, then this letter order needs to be signed by Secretary of State to proceed as an international bigamous marriage matter. This signed and sealed letter/order needs to be sent to the appropriate State High Court in India through the US court. Indian courts will not accept order/letter from an individual or the individual's attorney due to confidentiality issues. The result of the investigation result will be submitted to the US court, the Indian Embassy and US embassy.
Step # 9 The process involved in steps 7 and 8 in the US court is very expensive for an ordinary person. For an unemployed person or someone not earning high income, a social services organization may provide legal advice and representation.
Apna Ghar, is a domestic violence shelter and support group in Chicago: (773) 334-4663 or (800) 717-0757 (in Illinois). 4753 N. Broadway, Suite 518, Chicago, IL 60640. Email: email@example.com.
Asian Human Services Inc
4820 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60640-3604
Council of international investigation
2150 N. 107th St., Suite 205
Seattle, Washington 98133-9009 USA
USA and Canada toll-free: 1-888-759-8884
There are few supporting and very helpful social worker organization in India mentioned below:
Voice of women and Families in India: Convenor: Roshni Mathan Pereira
firstname.lastname@example.org Help-line number Phone: 0091-9164603034
AIDWA Central Office All India Democratic Women Association
121, Vithal Bhai Patel House, Rafi Marg, New Delhi – 110 001
They have offices in several states.
State Human Rights commission, of respective state in India
State Women’s Commission; of respective state in India
Step # 10 Involvement of social organizations, journalists, TV media is important at all stages of the matter. Truth can not be hidden. If you have filed a bigamy case, the con artist will attempt demonize and discredit you in society. If you are on the righteous path, walk confidently. Angry and greedy con artist, upon realizing that his game cannot continue for a long time now, will try to harass you and your family. This could be in the form of false accusations against you, filing emergency protective order against you, order to evict you from the house etc. Police, social organizations, journalists, media can help you in case of emergency. Don't hesitate to approach them.
Things to avoid
# Don't get perturbed if con artist's approach to you directly or indirectly to withdraw the case.
# Don't be surprised or disheartened if you discover that
- you are his wife # 3, 4, 5..
- your marriage was a simple legal marriage while he had other religiously performed luxurious marriage(s).
- he has exploited financially other wives too.
-your marriage has not been consummated but he had an intimacy with his previous wife
-he is enjoying physical relations with all women in his life simultaneoulsy
-he is communicating regularly or started communication recently with other wife(ves)
-he is demonizing you in society by false allegations
-he has been sued by other people for different reasons that involve dishonesty of some kind, such as nonpayment of dues, including lawyer's fees, breach of promise etc.
-house is under foreclosure
-all utilities got disconnected due to non-payment
-you are not covered under his medical insurance
# Do not involve any Private investigators unless you know them well. They are very expensive and sometimes not trustworthy.
# Don't give full control of your financials to your husband if you find out that your marriage is exclusively for financial exploitation.
The Indian Government is becoming stricter on bigamy and holiday marriages. Due to globalization, many professionals from different countries visit India for short stays. They take advantage of poor, uneducated or not highly qualified Indian women and get married after promising them life in America or abroad. While women conned by and newly married to the con artist, remain in India dreaming of coming to USA or living abroad, the con artist continues to fish for new victims online or otherwise.
I will be glad to provide details of the procedure if someone is a victim of international bigamous marriage. A useful website to get support...