Is my marriage legal if it was never registered?

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Is my marriage legal if it was never registered?

We only had a religious wedding. We have been seperated for almost 4 years. I was wondering how can I get divorced if we were never legally married? I just don’t want any trouble when I do get married again.

Asked on March 21, 2011 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

New York state requires that you must obtain a marriage certificate within 60 days of the time period to which you are getting married and you must submit that to the religious person marrying you in a religious ceremony. It appears you may not be married in the eyes of New York state. Your clergyman may be held liable for a misdemeanor if he married you without the presence of a marriage license. If you are not registered with the state (i.e., did not obtain a marriage license), you probably are not legally married. If you wish to get married now, it may appear you are free to marry but as for division of assets, since you are not married, you should talk to a family law attorney about the asset division should be now negotiated. He or she can verify if you had a legally binding marriage (i.e., mere technical issues that a court can order as still a valid legally binding marriage) or you were simply co-habitating. Good luck and remember, to prepare, make sure you find as many records as you can of big purchased you yourself have made.


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