Putative Spouse Doctrine

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The putative spouse doctrine’s purpose is to protect the financial and property interests of a person who enters into a bigamous marriage believing in good faith that it is a valid marriage.   The person who is unaware his spouse is already married is called the “putative spouse.” In jurisdictions that recognize the putative spouse doctrine, the putative spouse will be entitled to marital property rights along with the legal spouse, that is, both spouses will share the property rights.