Ifmy marriage license was never filed, am I legally married?

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Ifmy marriage license was never filed, am I legally married?

I was married in September by a reverend at an Atlanta courthouse. The reverend told my husband and I that it was our responsibility to file our marriage license with the courts. We completely forgot about filing it and now have mutually decided we want a divorce. My husband is telling me that we don’t need to get a divorce because if we never turned in our marriage license, we aren’t even legally married. I have called the courthouse and reverend and both say we are married because we had a ceremony but there is absolutely no proof of this marriage on file. So are we in fact legally married?

Asked on November 4, 2010 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Here is the thing:  although you did not file the paperwork would you want to take the chance that somewhere down the road this comes back to bite you?  Say you remarry and have children and buy assets, etc.  You do not want someone - like your ex - to come back at some point to make a claim that you are still married and thereby placing in question your new life.  Or say you hit it big in some way - invention, lottery - whatever.  Do you want your ex to come along and claim that your winning or the fruits of your labor are subject to equitable distribution at that point?  Think about it.  Good luck.


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