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Is it possible H was married/ had family before me?

(354 Posts)
womaninatightspot Fri 01-Mar-19 12:08:00

Already separating but he was abusive (verbal gaslighting etc.). Suspect having proof he's a liar would be good for my mental health. Found a birth certificate among his papers from before we were married. His name listed as father and informant (so would have to be married to mother right?) Same surname as the mother.

It is a common name and he's from a large family who I've never met so can't ask them (I know major red flag territory.) Can I use this to search for a marriage certificate and confirm the date of birth and know for sure. We are married and declared no previous marriages when filling out wedding licence application. Do they double check these things?

Would rather him not know I know if that makes sense. I don't want to confront him.

LIZS Fri 01-Mar-19 12:12:12

You might want to check for a divorce certificate to ensure your marriage was legitimate. Did any family or friends attend your wedding? There should be addresses listed as well as names. If you are planning to divorce you could take a copy and ask your solicitor.

FizzyGreenWater Fri 01-Mar-19 12:16:14

Yes, yes yes.

You need to check - sounds as if he could well have still been married if he didn't declare anything.

You can use the parent names to search for a marriage certificate I'd imagine?

Otterseatpuffinsdontthey Fri 01-Mar-19 12:17:36


FizzyGreenWater Fri 01-Mar-19 12:17:37

If you're divorcing and you find out he is already married, you could indeed simply pass the information to your solicitor to deal with and have no direct contact at all except to turn up at court to see him go down for bigamy and deception

womaninatightspot Fri 01-Mar-19 12:25:22

Loads of family my family/ joint friends came to our wedding no one from his family.

There are addresses but this is more than 20 years ago.

How can I look up marriage certificates.

AornisHades Fri 01-Mar-19 12:26:46

Are you going for a clean break? If it turns out your marriage isn't valid would that change the finances?

If you want to pm me the names I can check for a marriage on a genealogy site.

TFBundy Fri 01-Mar-19 12:27:01 is your friend - sign up for a free trial. Birth, marriage and death certs from years back.

womaninatightspot Fri 01-Mar-19 12:28:09

Crikey what's the penalty for bigamy? Would still have to have contact for dc

HollowTalk Fri 01-Mar-19 12:29:15

Wow. Nobody from his family showed up - didn't that ring any alarm bells at the time? It's easy to search on Ancestry - as a PP said, get a free trial for a month (don't forget to cancel it) and get searching.

Aprilshowersarecomingsoon Fri 01-Mar-19 12:33:10

I had no family at any of my weddings!!

womaninatightspot Fri 01-Mar-19 12:33:53

Will do the ancestry thing this afternoon have to pop out. Erm if he was a bigamist would I be legally obligated to report it. Rather the DCs dad was not in prison tbh.

Lwmommy Fri 01-Mar-19 12:34:12

womaninatightspot Fri 01-Mar-19 12:36:31

It did ring alarm bells but he'd had big falling out with family due to something was explained early on in relationship. They sounded like crazy people anyway so was rather glad not having to meet them at the time. Unsurprisingly managed to engineer falling out with my family over time so I don't see them.

The benefit of hindsight...

lyralalala Fri 01-Mar-19 12:46:09

To register a birth he'd have to be married to the mother, or the other incapacitated and unable to register the birth herself.

Ancestry is a good option. Depending on the area some have good listings online. I understad you might not want to post too much detail but if you can post the area folks might be able to point you in the right direction.

It's a pity it's not a Scottish birth cert as they have the parents marriage date on them.

LakieLady Fri 01-Mar-19 12:46:35

Blimey, if your suspicions are right you may not be legally married!

I wonder if it's possible to search registers online these days. You used to have to go to the register office or to St Catherine's House in London and do it in person if you didn't have the full details. It was easy though, the indices were alphabetical and (iirc) each one covered a quarter, so you could start a few months before the registration of the birth and work backwards.

It certainly sounds very fishy, but I think you need to find out because the implications for you financially could be significant, eg if you're married you may be entitled to a share of his pension, savings etc.

If he was married, I'd bet he still is, otherwise why would he lie about it when he married you?

Collaborate Fri 01-Mar-19 12:47:06

Look at your marriage certificate. It might say, for his status, "previous marriage dissolved" or "widower". If it describes him as a bachelor then he must have declared he was never married before.

They don't check the truth of a statement like that, although they do check the decree absolute or a death certificate.

SpeakUpXXWomen Fri 01-Mar-19 12:51:41

You have to find out if he divorced or is a widow. Also is there a sibling to your dc out there? What does your solicitor advise?

NaToth Fri 01-Mar-19 12:55:19

You can search online on Ancestry. Your local Library will probably have a subscription. Wishing you well OP. This certainly sounds suspicious and a quick check on Ancestry was enough to find out that DD’s BF was married and hadn’t thought to tell her.

Raspberry10 Fri 01-Mar-19 12:57:01

You can DM me the names, I have an Ancestry sub. Divorces aren’t online though but I can check for her dying.

lizzzyyliveson Fri 01-Mar-19 12:57:40

I don't think you can decide to conceal the evidence if you find he is still married. There will be long-term implications for you re your pension entitlement and property. Put the certificate into your solicitor's hands and let them investigate.

LondonBelongsToMe Fri 01-Mar-19 12:58:20

I would investigate before even discussing with your solicitor. If he is still married to someone else and your marriage is therefore not valid, that will massively change the basis of a financial settlement as you would not be entitled to any spousal maintenance, share of pension etc - the only thing you would be entitled to is your share of any jointly held property (inc £) and child maintenance if applicable

Hittapotamus Fri 01-Mar-19 12:59:32

Would it help your divorce if you weren't legally married in the first place?

ThatssomebadhatHarry Fri 01-Mar-19 13:01:26

Good luck OP.

MulticolourMophead Fri 01-Mar-19 13:01:31

OP can you take a pic of the birth certificate without arousing suspicion? The details there could help.

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