Difference between Adultery and Bigamy

Key Difference:  Adultery refers to the intended sexual relationship between a married person and the person rather than his or her spouse. Bigamy refers to the act of marrying again, while the first marriage is valid.

The term adultery has been originated from the Old French word ‘avouterie’, which means 'voluntary violation of the marriage bed'. It is used in context to sexual relationships kept by a married person with other person other than his or her lawful spouse.

Marriage is considered to be a pure form of a relationship, and therefore adultery is often regarded as a crime in most of the societies. It can also be considered as a ground for divorce in many places. 

Adultery is only considered when the unfaithfulness cross the boundary and a married person establishes a sexual relationship with a person other than spouse. It can occur between a married person and unmarried person or between an unmarried person and spouse of some other person. Therefore, in either ways, it is found to be derogatory towards marriage.

In Ohio, adultery is considered as one of the misdemeanor offences, and therefore convicted is punished to serve up to six months in jail. Like adultery, bigamy is also taken as a valid ground for divorce. 

Bigamy is the practice of marrying again while the former marriage is still valid. Generally, this is also considered to be against the law of the state in many countries, and therefore the accused in convicted. The term just expresses the meaning of the word which is literally second marriage. Polygamy which means having more than one wife or one husband is allowed for Muslim men under the Islamic marital jurisprudence.

Comparison between Adultery and Bigamy:

 

Adultery

Bigamy

Definition

It refers to the intended sexual relationship between a married person and the person rather than his or her spouse.

The act of marrying again, while the first marriage is valid ; having two husbands or two wives

Punishment

Varies from country to country. In some place harsh treatments like death sentence and stoning to death are also given to the convicted. However, these punishments are being protested worldwide.

In places where it is considered to be illegal, again the punishment varies from country to country. Generally, a massive fine or prison time is considered as the penalties.

Origin

From Old French avouterie meaning “voluntary violation of the marriage bed"

From Late Latin bigamus "twice married"

Image Courtesy: graadig.wordpress.com, badlawyernyc.blogspot.com

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