How Divorce Works If Marriage Wasn’t Valid

marital qualityQuestion:

I’m not sure my marriage to my wife was technically legal and she now wants a divorce. How do I tell if our marriage was legal and how does that affect the divorce process?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and am unable to give you legal advice, I can give you some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I do practice in Virginia, a marriage becomes legal upon the execution of the martial license. The license must be signed by both parties, a witness, and the officiant of the wedding.

A general rule of thumb is that if the license was issued by the state, it is probably legal. However, that is not always the case and an attorney could review the document and the timing of the document to double check everything.

If it turns out that your marriage was not legal, then you are not married and therefore cannot be divorced.

While this may seem to simplify things, it actually does not. If you and your wife have any co-mingled assets they must still be divided. If the two of you cannot agree how the assets will be divided you will still need to file a lawsuit.

Questions regarding the validity of a marriage and division of assets require a specialized knowledge of local law. For these reasons I would suggest you contact an attorney who specializes in family law matters in your jurisdiction.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on these matters, so please contact an attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws of California and how they impact your case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss child custody rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.

End of Content Icon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *