A Texas police officer has been placed on leave pending the results of an administrative investigation as well as a criminal probe. A staff attorney with the Houston Police Officer’s Union has confirmed the inquiries concern allegations of bigamy. The 34-year-old homicide investigator was married in Texas for less than a year, yet it appears he remarried in another state less than a month after his now ex-wife filed for divorce. Although it is clear the divorce was filed, it is not clear whether it was finalized before he remarried.
Court documents show the man was married to a 24-year-old Houston woman for less than a year. She filed for divorce on May 25, after the two separated less than two weeks earlier. She purportedly soon discovered that he was living with another woman in another location. It was later discovered that he married another woman on June 17. His current wife could not be reached for comment, and the Houston Police Department has not commented because the matter is still under investigation.
Texas law does permit a defense to bigamy charges if the individual had reason to believe he or she was divorced or the marriage was annulled. At this point, little information has been shared by any of the parties, though the court records show that the divorce was granted on Jan. 20, about six months after it was filed.
While this is a very unique family law matter, anyone going through a divorce may benefit from fully understanding the many components of marriage dissolution. Divorce is a serious and sometimes complicated process. Speaking with an experienced family law attorney is often a good way to get started.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “Houston police officer relieved of duty after bigamy allegations,” James Pinkerton and Anita Hassan, Jan. 27, 2012