Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Delaware Criminal Code

CHAPTER 5. Specific Offenses

Subchapter IV. Offenses Relating to Marriage

§ 1001. Bigamy; class G felony.

A person is guilty of bigamy when the person contracts or purports to contract a marriage with another person knowing the person has a living spouse, or knowing the other person has a living spouse.

Bigamy is a class G felony.

11 Del. C. 1953, §  1001;  58 Del. Laws, c. 497, §  167 Del. Laws, c. 130, §  870 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  1

§ 1002. Bigamy; defenses.

In any prosecution for bigamy it is a defense that, at the time of the allegedly bigamous marriage:

(1) The accused believed, after diligent inquiry, that the prior spouse was dead; or

(2) The parties to the former marriage had been living apart for 7 consecutive years throughout which the accused had no reasonable grounds to believe that the prior spouse was alive; or

(3) A court in any American or foreign jurisdiction had entered a judgment purporting to terminate or annul any prior disqualifying marriage, and the accused did not know that judgment to be invalid; or

(4) The accused otherwise reasonably believed that the accused was legally eligible to remarry.

11 Del. C. 1953, §  1002;  58 Del. Laws, c. 497, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  1

§ 1003. Bigamous marriage contracted outside the State.

Whoever, being a resident of Delaware, goes out of the State and contracts a marriage contrary to § 1001 of this title, intending to return and reside in Delaware, and returns accordingly, is guilty of bigamy.

11 Del. C. 1953, §  1003;  58 Del. Laws, c. 497, §  1

§ 1004. Advertising marriage in another state.

A person is guilty of advertising marriage in another state when the person erects any sign or billboard, or publishes or distributes any material giving information relative to the performance of marriage in another state.

Advertising marriage in another state is a violation. In addition, a peace officer of this State may seize and destroy any sign, billboard or material which the officer observes in violation of this section.

11 Del. C. 1953, §  1004;  58 Del. Laws, c. 497, §  170 Del. Laws, c. 186, §  1