What to do if my sister just found out that her marriage licesnse was never filed and she is not legally married as she believed she was?

My sister just found out that her marriage licesnse was never filed and she is not legally married as she believed she was. She has very little money or time to try to figure this out so she has enlisted my help. She wants to know if there are theany forms besides the affadvaits that need to be completed to get her marriage back to the original date 17 years ago.

Asked on September 4, 2012 under Family Law, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Does you sister have a copy of her original marriage license that was not filed as required by the person who married her and her spouse in the county clerk's office where the marriage was performed? (Department of Vital Statistics).

If she does, then she can go down to that department with applicable affidavits (hopefully of the person who performed the ceremony) and see if the clerk will enter the marriage certificate as a filed document back to the date when the ceremony happened some seventeen (17) years ago.

If that will not happen, then your sister needs to consult with a family law attorney about filing a petition with the court seeking the relief she wants and an order from the court directing the clerk of the Department of Vital Statistics to enter the marriage license's filing retroactively.

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