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  1. #1
    mowest21 is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy Couple married twice -- need to divorce twice?!

    [I live in Washington State, but the marriages described below happened in other states; I believe California and Nevada.]

    Hi,

    I have a rather strange question. This situation is happening right now, but I don't want to give real names to avoid any embarrassment.

    I know a woman who married someone (let's call him Pete) about 20 years ago. She (call her Ann) and he decided to get married twice, just for sentimental reasons. So they wound up with two marriage certificates. Later on, Ann divorced Pete and married Jake. Now, after 20 years, she is in the process of divorcing Jake and going back to Pete. But she thinks that she is still married to Pete (because of the 2nd marriage certificate) and that therefore her marriage to Jake is unlawful!

    1. Is this true? I thought that if someone was married already, then any "remarriage" would be officially considered as a renewal of vows by a court of law, and not a legal second marriage.
    2. Will the second marriage certificate be considered null and void, or is it a legal document?
    3. Are there any laws that specifically address this situation, or any court cases identical to this one?
    4. If legal, would Ann and Pete need to divorce twice to actually be divorced?!

    I sincerely appreciate any help you can give me,

    mowest21
    Last edited by mowest21; 08-09-2005 at 10:09 PM.
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mowest21
    [I live in Washington State, but the marriages described below happened in other states; I believe California and Nevada.]

    Hi,

    I have a rather strange question. This situation is happening right now, but I don't want to give real names to avoid any embarrassment.

    I know a woman who married someone (let's call him Pete) about 20 years ago. She (call her Ann) and he decided to get married twice, just for sentimental reasons. So they wound up with two marriage certificates. Later on, Ann divorced Pete and married Jake. Now, after 20 years, she is in the process of divorcing Jake and going back to Pete. But she thinks that she is still married to Pete (because of the 2nd marriage certificate) and that therefore her marriage to Jake is unlawful!

    1. Is this true? I thought that if someone was married already, then any "remarriage" would be officially considered as a renewal of vows by a court of law, and not a legal second marriage.
    You are correct....

    2. Will the second marriage certificate be considered null and void, or is it a legal document?
    You are correct....although if the divorce agreement referred to the second marriage rather than the first it could get sticky.

    3. Are there any laws that specifically address this situation, or any court cases identical to this one?
    I know of no state laws or case law that addresses this issue...

    4. If legal, would Ann and Pete need to divorce twice to actually be divorced?!
    No, because the second marriage wouldn't be the legal marriage.
  3. #3
    dallas702 is offline Senior Member
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    ....and Nevada marriages are only valid if performed by Elvis or one of his clones.
  4. #4
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ



    I know of no state laws or case law that addresses this issue...



    My response:

    This is because you're a Dufus. I told you to STOP responding to questions that have to do with California law!

    Read Marriage of Chapman (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 1308

    Duh!!

    IAAL
  5. #5
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I AM ALWAYS LIABLE
    My response:

    This is because you're a Dufus. I told you to STOP responding to questions that have to do with California law!

    Read Marriage of Chapman (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 1308

    Duh!!

    IAAL
    That case was about a couple who married, divorced and then later remarried.

    OP's case has to do with a couple who renewed their vows while still married.
  6. #6
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ
    That case was about a couple who married, divorced and then later remarried.

    OP's case has to do with a couple who renewed their vows while still married.

    My response:

    Another completely irrelevant response by Ldij. It doesn't matter if a couple remarries the same person, merely "renewing" their vows. The court is only concerned with the "current" marriage - - and if a couple has two marriage certificates, one does not negate the other. There is only ONE marriage under the law of any State, including California.

    "Renewal" of vows is not legally recognized. A renewal of vows is merely "ceremonial" in nature, and has no legal force of effect. In other words, Dufus, the court is only concerned with the couple's current, singular, marriage and ONE divorce (or Dissolution) action effectively is all that is necessary or required since the "renewal" is not recognized; i.e., You can't legally "rejuvenate" a marriage. The laws are just as strong for a three year marriage as they are for a thirty year marriage.

    So, it doesn't matter if there are two certificates, as long as a Dissolution of the "Union" as a couple occurred PRIOR to a person's marriage to someone else.

    Read the above case in it's entirety.

    IAAL
  7. #7
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I AM ALWAYS LIABLE
    My response:

    Another completely irrelevant response by Ldij. It doesn't matter if a couple remarries the same person, merely "renewing" their vows. The court is only concerned with the "current" marriage - - and if a couple has two marriage certificates, one does not negate the other. There is only ONE marriage under the law of any State, including California.

    "Renewal" of vows is not legally recognized. A renewal of vows is merely "ceremonial" in nature, and has no legal force of effect. In other words, Dufus, the court is only concerned with the couple's current, singular, marriage and ONE divorce (or Dissolution) action effectively is all that is necessary or required since the "renewal" is not recognized; i.e., You can't legally "rejuvenate" a marriage. The laws are just as strong for a three year marriage as they are for a thirty year marriage.

    So, it doesn't matter if there are two certificates, as long as a Dissolution of the "Union" as a couple occurred PRIOR to a person's marriage to someone else.

    Read the above case in it's entirety.

    IAAL
    And I advised differently?....how???

    I would love to read the case in its entirety...unfortunately while Lexis-Nexis has several cases that quote enough of the original case to know what its about....Lexis-Nexis does not appear to have the entire case.
  8. #8
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
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    I believe there is some confusion between marriage license and marriage certificate, their legal standing and how many of each exists and what date/marriage was declared in the divorce petition.

    For example, a couple in the military, stationed in two different countries overseas meet and become engaged while deployed in a third country and plan their wedding for Dec after their expected return date. As the end of their deployment nears the orders come through and each is unexpectedly ordered to opposite coasts stateside. This affects their wedding plans because they won't be able to live together, so they go and get married in a civil ceremony in X country, apply for hardship reassignment so upon return home, both are assigned to the same base. Perfectly legal but keep this information secret from family members so as not to upset their plans for their Las Vegas wedding, yes, by Elvis. The premade arrangements for the wedding included the issuance of a marriage license, so the marriage takes place, now there are 2 marriage certificates and 2 licenses.

    The marriage fails and the second date for the marriage is supplied in the divorce because no one else knows about the first marriage license and certificate. In this case as opposed to what OP stated, there might still exist a marriage. If the first date is given no matter how many certificates or other licenses exist, then the marriage is disolved.
  9. #9
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmet4nzkx
    I believe there is some confusion between marriage license and marriage certificate, their legal standing and how many of each exists and what date/marriage was declared in the divorce petition.

    For example, a couple in the military, stationed in two different countries overseas meet and become engaged while deployed in a third country and plan their wedding for Dec after their expected return date. As the end of their deployment nears the orders come through and each is unexpectedly ordered to opposite coasts stateside. This affects their wedding plans because they won't be able to live together, so they go and get married in a civil ceremony in X country, apply for hardship reassignment so upon return home, both are assigned to the same base. Perfectly legal but keep this information secret from family members so as not to upset their plans for their Las Vegas wedding, yes, by Elvis. The premade arrangements for the wedding included the issuance of a marriage license, so the marriage takes place, now there are 2 marriage certificates and 2 licenses.

    The marriage fails and the second date for the marriage is supplied in the divorce because no one else knows about the first marriage license and certificate. In this case as opposed to what OP stated, there might still exist a marriage. If the first date is given no matter how many certificates or other licenses exist, then the marriage is disolved.
    I wondered about that...which is why I made the statement that if the second marriage was used in the divorce it could be murkier.

    In OP's case...what if the first marriage was done in CA...normally, but then they got a second license and did another marriage in Vegas? Wouldn't the same potential circumstance exist?...if they messed up and used the second date of marriage in the divorce?

    Couldn't that entire problem be avoided by referencing both marriages in the divorce?

    My marriage was a little bit similar to the situation you described...we had a huge wedding planned, but my husband (now ex) was coming into the country on a fiance visa and by a quirk of fate his paperwork expired one week before our official wedding. (they give you a very narrow window) So without telling anyone we got married in the pastor's office a week before the "real" wedding...and went through with the real wedding as planned.

    When we divorced...we initially messed up the paperwork ourselves by referencing the second date rather than the first.
  10. #10
    1mrtym is offline Member
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    You know I am shocked over and over on here. This IAAL, supposedly the ONLY attorney on here, can't get his crap straight for nothing, and then attacks others, for being right. Can site even be legal**************...with a moron like him the only attorney? It is a sad thing**************..some of the advice**************.from this "attorney". Maybe a month or two in rehab would be a good thing IAAL!

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