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Old 07-20-2007, 07:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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is my marriage void?

I was married in 1997, separated in june 2000, filed for divorce in may of 2001, remarried in nov 2001 (after madatory 6 mos waiting period in CA), I have been married a little over 5 years. It has just come to my attention that my divorce finalized three weeks later than it was supposed to due to a filing error. Is my current marriage void?
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amIaBigamist? View Post
I was married in 1997, separated in june 2000, filed for divorce in may of 2001, remarried in nov 2001 (after madatory 6 mos waiting period in CA), I have been married a little over 5 years. It has just come to my attention that my divorce finalized three weeks later than it was supposed to due to a filing error. Is my current marriage void?
If your divorce was granted a particular date, and you were married AFTER that date, your current marriage is not void.

Define "filing error" and explain "how it just came to" your attention.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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explanation

I filed for summary dissolution on may 4, 2001. My ex said he would go back to the court after 6 mos and file for a judgement of dissolution. I confirmed with him that he had done it and proceeded to get remarried on the 17th of nov 2001. Now 5 years later and after just moving I have been going through all of my paperwork looking for the "important legal stuff" to put in one folder and found my copy of the judgement and it is dated the 25th of nov. 2001
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by amIaBigamist? View Post
I filed for summary dissolution on may 4, 2001. My ex said he would go back to the court after 6 mos and file for a judgement of dissolution. I confirmed with him that he had done it and proceeded to get remarried on the 17th of nov 2001. Now 5 years later and after just moving I have been going through all of my paperwork looking for the "important legal stuff" to put in one folder and found my copy of the judgement and it is dated the 25th of nov. 2001
I would contact an attorney immediately. Most of them give free or low cost initial consultations--and they could answer your question for you. Since, at the most basic level, you cannot get married again while you are still married, but perhaps it could be argued that you remarried *after* the requisite six months had taken place--regardless of when the papers were filed. This seems like a relatively simple matter that a quick phone call or consultation with an attorney could rectify.

The law is about precision. I wouldn't let this pass. Call an attorney immediately.
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Old 07-20-2007, 08:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amIaBigamist? View Post
I was married in 1997, separated in june 2000, filed for divorce in may of 2001, remarried in nov 2001 (after madatory 6 mos waiting period in CA), I have been married a little over 5 years. It has just come to my attention that my divorce finalized three weeks later than it was supposed to due to a filing error. Is my current marriage void?
If the final divorce decree was signed/dated by a judge after the date on your marriage license, then yes, your current marriage isn't considered valid. If you don't have copies of either, recorded copies of each can be obtained at your county clerk's office. Good luck.
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Old 07-20-2007, 09:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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what do I do?

do I get a lawyer? do I have to annul (sp?) my second marriage or is it just as if it never existed? and do we have to get re-married or is it just a matter of filing paperwork???? I feel sick to my stomach.......
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Old 07-20-2007, 09:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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do I get a lawyer? do I have to annul (sp?) my second marriage or is it just as if it never existed? and do we have to get re-married or is it just a matter of filing paperwork???? I feel sick to my stomach.......
I'd call your city clerk to find out what you need to do. There's no need to feel sick; it was a simple mistake and I'm sure you're not the first to find this out after the fact. No guarantee this is the case, but it may be possible to have a new marriage license issued with the correct date. Your city clerk can answer your basic questions; I don't necessarily think you'll need an attorney's intervention until after you've made a phone call. At the very least, the clerk can let you know whether or not you have a valid marriage license and what steps to take to correct the situation, i.e. procedure, not legal advice. If you're not certain or comfortable after talking to city hall, by all means contact a family attorney to help you "set the record straight."

Last edited by TheJury'sStillOut; 07-20-2007 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 07-21-2007, 05:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The legal ramifications of this situation NOT being rectified is absolutely critical---especially if, god forbid, one of you passes away, and there are children involved, a will, an estate, where having the proverbial "t's crossed" is paramount, etc. Calling a clerk to ask to ask for legal advice for something so legally complex is, quite possibly, one of the most shocking cases of bad advice I've ever seen printed here in this forum. Asking a clerk to determine the validity of your marriage license IS, clearly, giving legal advice, something he or she is not capable of doing, having no more legal training than many posters in this forum. Answering the question "How do I apply for a copy of a lost marriage license?" is procedural. Answering the question "Is my marriage certificate a valid, legally binding, legitimate document" is a LEGAL question. Surely you understand the difference between the two. One calls for a judgment, based on complex legal factors, one easily does not.

Since you can, in fact, speak with an attorney for FREE in virtually EVERY state, why would you risk something so important on a CLERKS advice?? Considering the legitimacy of or even existence of a marriage a "simple clerical error" is alarmingly irresponsible. There are so many other areas that could be affected by a challenge to the legitimacy of your marriage---the IRS--how you have filed your taxes for five years, property purchased in common, etc. To rest on your laurels and feel secure after speaking with a clerk who happens to have a summer job at the courthouse is undeniably risky. Some other questions rise to the surface in your case as well--if the first paper hadn't been filed, how were you able to even procure a second marriage license? Certainly California has in place some kind of system to verify that both of you are single. I'd have to say this entire situation is much more complex than meets the eye--and the implications and possible legal ramifications of the same are staggering.


I have been married once, and only once, as had my husband. When he died suddenly at age 44 a few weeks ago, even though he had a will, I am living a nightmare having to establish my "right" to everything named in his will--and we were married for twenty years. If one of you dies before this situation is rectified, the resulting estate could be tied up for an excruciatingly long time---with disastrous results. A clerk?? Not just no, but---well, you know the rest of the phrase.

Realize the complexity of the situation and protect yourself by simply calling an attorney and asking for a free consultation. Then and ONLY then would I feel reassured.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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okay this is what I found out..

After waiting a whole day to talk to a supervisor at the Nevada Clerks "Legal" Dept, she told me she thought I would have to annull (sp?) the marriage and get remarried, they couldnt ratify it. However, after finding Chapter 125 of Nevada's Revised Statutes 2005, this is what I found-do I understand this correctly, I just need to get re-married?

...and I tried to find a free consult lawyer no deal :-( $60 for a 30 min consult was the cheapest I could find.

...does anyone know if online legal help is a sham?? I considered paying the $10 to pose my issue there. Thank you in advance for all your help/insight


ANNULMENT

NRS 125.290 Void marriages. All marriages which are prohibited by law because of:

1. Consanguinity between the parties; or

2. Either of the parties having a former husband or wife then living, if solemnized within this State,

Ê are void without any decree of divorce or annulment or other legal proceedings. A marriage void under this section shall not bar prosecution for the crime of bigamy pursuant to NRS 201.160.

[18:33:1861; B § 211; BH § 487; C § 498; RL § 2354; NCL § 4066]—(NRS A 1959, 195; 1967, 531; 1973, 201)

Last edited by admin; 07-26-2007 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amIaBigamist? View Post
After waiting a whole day to talk to a supervisor at the Nevada Clerks "Legal" Dept, she told me she thought I would have to annull (sp?) the marriage and get remarried, they couldnt ratify it. However, after finding Chapter 125 of Nevada's Revised Statutes 2005, this is what I found-do I understand this correctly, I just need to get re-married?

...and I tried to find a free consult lawyer no deal :-( $60 for a 30 min consult was the cheapest I could find.

...does anyone know if online legal advice is a sham?? I considered paying the $10 to pose my issue there. Thank you in advance for all your help/insight


ANNULMENT

NRS 125.290 Void marriages. All marriages which are prohibited by law because of:

1. Consanguinity between the parties; or

2. Either of the parties having a former husband or wife then living, if solemnized within this State,

Ê are void without any decree of divorce or annulment or other legal proceedings. A marriage void under this section shall not bar prosecution for the crime of bigamy pursuant to NRS 201.160.

[18:33:1861; B § 211; BH § 487; C § 498; RL § 2354; NCL § 4066]—(NRS A 1959, 195; 1967, 531; 1973, 201)

First of all, let me explain some of the terms and explain clearly why the "clerk", supervisor or not, is incorrect. In the strictest sense of the law, if I marry while I am ALREADY MARRIED, my second marriage is automatically VOID ( Invalid ) void ab initio...There is another posting on this topic in which the subject was explained at great length. You do not have to ANNUL a marriage that is, as a matter of law, ALREADY INVALID ( void ). The statute you posted stated very clearly that a marriage between parties when there is already a marriage present already "are (ALREADY)void without any decree of divorce or annulment or other legal proceedings." (my emphasis added). The clerk telling you that you must have an annulment of an already VOID marriage is, according to this statute, incorrect. A perfect example of what I cautioned you against--accepting legal advice from a clerk in the courthouse. Bad idea any way you look at it.

Bottom line: Pay the sixty dollars. You will NEED to hire an attorney to address this since, as I explained in the other posting, it could have far reaching implications, especially in situations such as the IRS ( filing jointly, married, etc). Again, referring to the law you posted, "A marriage void under this section shall not bar prosecution for the crime of bigamy pursuant to NRS 201.160." Do you understand the meaning of that part of the law? I'm sure you do. It means you COULD be held liable for the crime of bigamy. While I can't imagine anyone actually spending valuable court time and resources pursuing charges against you, in the strictest sense of the law, what has occurred IS bigamy.


I believe seeking advice from a supervisor in a court house is foolish and risky. His or her job is NOT to give you legal advice. As I also tried to explain earlier, you aren't asking a PROCEDURAL question of the clerk such as "How do I get a copy of a birth certificate?" You are, in fact, posing a LEGAL question. "Is my marriage valid?" This is a determination that can ONLY be made by an attorney who has spent a great deal of time studying and learning the nuances of the law.

My fear is that if you "cut corners" and hire ten dollars worth of legal advice, what you will get is ten dollars worth of legal advice. Your situation, I believe, could have criminal repercussions---not that anyone would be so petty as to pursue them, but the IRS, for one, has done worse. You are in a precarious legal situation. I would spare no expense in having it rectified immediately. To not do so would be, in my opinion, to your peril.
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Last edited by admin; 07-26-2007 at 01:52 PM.
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