How can I prove my ex is remarried?


I suspect my ex-wife may be remarried, in which case my alimony payments may be terminated. I live in Missouri and she lives in another state. What is the easiest way to find out if she is remarried?

If she has not legally remarried, how do I prove cohabitation?


Generally, in the state of Missouri, alimony/maintenance may only terminate upon the remarriage of the spouse receiving it. An exception to this general rule may apply if you and your ex-wife specifically agreed in your Marital Settlement that the alimony/maintenance payment would terminate if she cohabitated with another person. Usually, the Marital Settlement agreement will also explain what facts are necessary to prove the cohabitation.

It is more likely that you will need to prove that your ex-wife has remarried for you to terminate your obligation to pay alimony/maintenance.

In the state of Missouri, to request a copy of a Certified Marriage License, you must contact the Recorder of Deeds office for the particular county where the license was obtained. There are over 100 counties in Missouri, thus it will be extremely time consuming if you do not know the exact county where your ex-wife requested the license.

To make matters more challenging for you, Missouri does not require residents to register out of state or out of the country marriage licenses. Thus, if your ex-wife traveled to Las Vegas for a quickie wedding and returned to Missouri to live, her marriage would not be registered with the state.

If you strongly suspect that your ex-wife has remarried, I urge you to contact an attorney immediately.  An attorney will be able to conduct an investigation using formal discovery methods, which will save you time and money to correctly determine whether your spouse has remarried.

Cordell & Cordell has well qualified and experienced men’s divorce lawyers nationwide if you require additional legal assistance.


Michelle Hughes is an Associate Attorney in the Jefferson County, Missouri office of Cordell & Cordell where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Hughes is licensed in the states of Missouri and Illinois, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. A native to metro St. Louis, Ms. Hughes received her BBA in Economics and Finances from McKendree College. She later received her Juris Doctor from Thomas Cooley Law School where she graduated cum laude.

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