Stepmother Charged with Bigamy

The stepmother of a disabled girl whose remains were found after she went missing in North Carolina has been indicted on a bigamy charge. Authorities have found that Elisa Baker, the stepmother of Zahra Baker, 10 years old, is accused of marrying the girl’s father before divorcing her previous husband.  Zahra lost part of her left leg at age 5 and lost hearing in both ears while being treated for cancer. The family made news last year when police found Zahra’s remains on November 11, 2010.  Elisa Baker was charged with obstruction of justice after she admitted to planting a fake ransom note.  A search warrant dated October 27, 2010 shows police were looking for latex gloves used to dismember Zahra and trash bags used to store the remains.  To date, no one has been directly charged in the girl’s death.  Read More.

Bigamy is considered to be illegal and a marriage between two people, when one partner is already married to someone else is considered to be void in the eyes of the law. According to New York Domestic Relations Law, marriages can be annulled for various reasons. The annulment grounds to render a marriage voidable focus on a spouse’s status on the marriage date.  Grounds for annulment include: infancy, physical or mental incapacity on the marriage date, fraud, and duress.  It is important to note that there is no right to an annulment, since it is always discretionary with the court. Also, proof for an annulment cannot be based solely on the testimony of one spouse and that testimony must be corroborated.

Leeds Morelli & Brown P.C. is an experienced domestic relations firm that handles a full range of family law issues including annulments based on fraud, bigamy, incest and infancy, as well as issues related to spousal maintenance, child support, and the equitable distribution of assets for divorce judgments.  If you are seeking a separation agreement, divorce action, annulment or other family law action please feel free to contact Leeds, Morelli & Brown, PC at 1-800-585-4658 for a free consultation.