If my maiden name is spelled wrong on my marriage certificate, am I legally married?

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If my maiden name is spelled wrong on my marriage certificate, am I legally married?

I have been married for just over 5 years. My maiden name was spelled incorrectly on my marriage license/certificate as my husband used a copy of my birth certificate that also had my name spelled wrong. I went to try to have it corrected shortly after we were married and was told that it could not be changed because it was typed right from my birth certificate. I was 19 and didn’t really care at the time but now I am seriously wondering am I actually legally married?

Asked on February 8, 2011 under Family Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You don't say whether this would be good news or bad for you, but yes, you are legally married. The law does not invalidate significant relationships, contracts, or pretty much anything else of importance due to spelling or typographic errors. As long as it's clear that you are the person referred to (and you're not trying to claim otherwise; e.g. your not trying to claim that you are not in fact the woman on the certificate, with evidence to back that claim up), then you are married. It also doesn't matte if the name on the certificate does not match the name you use day to day or the name on other documents, such as a deed or title to a house.


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