Where Can a Man Marry Two Wives Legally

However, this practice is decreasing due to economic and social conditions. Here are five countries where polygamy is legal. According to a Politico article, legalizing polygamy is the “most natural next step” in countries where it is currently banned. “Polygamy” refers to the practice of having more than one spouse. The terms come from the Latin roots polys – meaning “many” – and gamos – meaning “marriage”. The term broadly encompasses the concept of a woman marrying more than one husband (polyandry) or a man marrying more than one wife (polygyny). Under the 1961 law, the Muslim majority is allowed to practice polygamy in Pakistan. Men of the Islamic faith can take a maximum of four wives. However, before entering into a second marriage, he must obtain the legal consent of his first wife. Many countries that allow polygamy have Muslim majorities, and the practice is rare in many of them. Less than 1% of Muslim men live with more than one spouse in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Egypt – all countries where the practice is legal, at least for Muslims. Polygamy is also legal in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and other neighboring countries, but they were not included in the study due to data limitations.

Muslim adherents of polygamy often quote Quranic verse 4:3, which commands men to take as many wives as they can provide, up to four, and they also point out that the Prophet Muhammad had several wives. Historians have noted that Islamic guidelines on polygamy were issued in the midst of the wars in Arabia in the seventh century, when there were many widows and orphans in need of financial support, and that polygamy created a system in which they had to be treated. To date, polygamy is more common in places where people, and especially men, tend to die young. Europe, Australia and America are among the territories where polygamy is completely prohibited. In 2001, Juab County District Attorney David O. Leavitt in Utah, USA, successfully prosecuted Thomas Green, who was convicted of criminal non-support and quadruple bigamy for contracting five serial monogamous marriages while living with legally divorced former wives. His cohabitation was considered proof of a common-law relationship with the wives from whom he had divorced while he was still living with them. This premise was later upheld by the Utah Supreme Court in State v. Green, as applicable only in the State of Utah.

Green was also convicted of child rape and criminal lack of support. [41] Many U.S. courts (e.g., Turner v.S., 212 Miss. 590, 55 So.2d 228) treat bigamy as a strict liability crime: In some jurisdictions, a person may be convicted of a crime even if they reasonably believed they had only one legal spouse. For example, if a person mistakenly believes that their ex-spouse is dead or that their divorce is final, they can still be convicted of bigamy if they marry a new person. [18] Marriage, divorce proceedings and other family law matters are governed by state law. All U.S. jurisdictions prohibit polygamy by invalidating marriages with more than two spouses.

State laws against bigamy — marrying someone while they are still legally married to another person — are usually grounds for annulment. This subsection of Christianity is known for its historically atypical attitude toward polygamy. In the United States, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, based in Utah, practiced polygamy from 1847 to 1890, which it called “plural marriage.” The U.S. government declared polygamy illegal in 1862, mostly in response to the LDS Church. The church, recognizing that support for polygamy prevented the state of Utah, banned the practice in 1890, and the church`s founder, Joseph Smith, disavowed the practice in 1904. Some small Mormon groups that have split from the LDS Church still practice polygamy, as do some members of society as a whole, but these unions are not legally registered or recognized. Polygamy is most common in sub-Saharan Africa, where 11% of the population lives in agreements involving more than one spouse. Polygamy is prevalent in a group of West and Central African countries, including Burkina Faso (36%), Mali (34%) and Nigeria (28%). In these countries, polygamy is legal, at least to some extent. Muslims in Africa are more likely than Christians to live in this type of arrangement (25% vs. 3%), but in some countries the practice is also prevalent among adherents of popular religions and people who do not identify with a religion.

For example, in Burkina Faso, 45 per cent of people with popular religions, 40 per cent of Muslims and 24 per cent of Christians live in polygamous households. Chad is the only country in this analysis where Christians (21%) are more likely than Muslims (10%) to live in this type of arrangement. Polygamy is a practice in which a person is married to more than one person at a time, most often to a man with several wives. Polygamy is often based on traditional cultural practices or religious beliefs. Usually, it is practiced legally in some Muslim countries and is limited to men of the Islamic faith. Polygamy is defined as the practice or condition of a person who has more than one spouse at a time, and conventionally refers to a situation where all spouses know each other, as opposed to bigamy, where two or more spouses usually know nothing about each other. [2] Polyandry is the name of the practice or condition when a woman has more than one male spouse at a time.

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