If you had a destination wedding out of the country but did not register your marriage certificate in the US within your state then are you married?

If this means the two are not married, what paperwork would you have to file to end the relationship if common law does apply (consider that Bride did not change her name, nothing financial is in both names, and both were separated)? If one filed Single and the other filed “Married filing separately,” how would this impact your taxes?

Asked on November 8, 2011 under Family Law, Alabama


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have a lot going on in this question.  It is really about 4 questions in one.  But there is not really a need to answer all of them as to how the matter impacts other matters becauseyou if you were married in another countrybut pursuant to the laws with in that country then you are married,like it or not.  As for whether or not there is a need to file the marriage certificate in your home state, you can file it after the fact when you file for divorce.  Any money earned during the marriage is marital money.  Any property acquired during the marriage is marital property.  Both are subject to distribution.  You can agree on the distribution if you want (and it is preferred).  As for the tax implications, call your accountant.  Good luck.

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