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Q: To tutuzdad - urgent (no marriage license so how can I be served divorce papers) ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: To tutuzdad - urgent (no marriage license so how can I be served divorce papers)
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: guru21-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 16 Nov 2006 21:09 PST
Expires: 16 Dec 2006 21:09 PST
Question ID: 783486
Hello!  Not too long ago, you helped answer a question in regards to
whether or not I even had a marriage.  There was no license acquired. 
The ceremony took place in Ohio.  I live in Georgia.  Today, my so
called husband (again, no marriage license and no certificate thereof)
served me with divorce papers citing the following section of the
Georgia Code - 19-5-3 (The marriage is irretrievably broken.)  How is
this possible?  I am more than glad to copy and paste the response you
had supplied when you did research on this and cited various sections
of the Ohio Revised Code (basically you stated Georgia had no
jurisdiction on this matter as the ceremony took place in Ohio). 
Please advise.  I have to file a response within the next few days (of
course I am in the process of trying to find a suitable lawyer).
Subject: Re: To tutuzdad - urgent (no marriage license so how can I be served divorce papers)
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 17 Nov 2006 07:15 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Dear guru21-ga;

Thank you for following up on your earlier question. The short answer
is that anyone can file for divorce in any state so long as he or she
meets the residency requirements of the state in which the complaint
is filed. States typically certify only marriages that occur within
their own jurisdictions but the court of any state can terminate
out-of-state marriages.

In your earlier question you said that your estranged ?spouse? claimed
that he intended to ?take care of it later by coming back to Georgia
and registering the marriage?. The question now is, did he? If he had
the marriage certified in Ohio according to Ohio law after the two of
you returned to Georgia then there may indeed be a marriage
certificate/license that you are not aware of. In that event you MAY
actually BE married. It would be wise for you to contact the Ohio
Department of Health and Vital Statistics to see if the marriage was
ever certified. If there is such a certificate they can tell you and
even provide a copy of it to you for a small fee.

Ohio Department of Health

If Ohio has no such certificate then it may be presumed that the
marriage was not registered in keeping with Ohio state law and is
therefore questionable in it?s validity. It is unlikely that the Ohio
marriage would have been certified in Georgia because that is not the
statutory sound procedure. Like Ohio and most other states Georgia
certifies only marriages solemnized in Georgia.

Your position that there is no valid marriage to terminate may be
valid, but to make certain you or your attorney should first research
the matter through Ohio?s Department of Health. If you find no record
from there you should then contact the Georgia Division of Public
Health to make sure one was not somehow registered by the state of
Georgia by mistake or by perhaps by intentional misrepresentation.
Keep in mind that in Georgia marriage records after 1996 are only
available from the county Probate Court where the license was issued
so, because the marriage record originated in Ohio and not a county
court in Georgia, Georgia DPH isn?t likely to have one, but it can?t
hurt to look.

Georgia Division of Public Health

As a last resort your attorney can file a motion for discovery to have
the plaintiff show proof of the marriage. By doing this your ex will
be required to produce valid documents showing the court that the two
of you were married, when and where the marriage took place, and
whether or not the union is valid. If he can?t then he basically has
no case in my opinion and the complaint will likely be dismissed.

Now, assuming there is no valid marriage (as determined by your
attorney) you position may very well be that your ex cannot file for
the termination of a marriage that never existed. In the event that a
marriage record IS found however, your attorney may still be able
challenge it?s validity based on the fact that it may not have been
registered properly or in a timely manner. The success of such a
challenge is unpredicatable by me, but your lawyer can probably tell
you more about the chances of such a defense.

Finally, in the event that a VALID marriage record is found there is
nothing to prevent your ex from filing for divorce in the jurisdiction
in which he legally resides (no matter what state it is). This is just
the nature of reciprocal US civil law and he is well within his right
to do so. In fact, there is notthing to prevent anyone from filing a
lawsuit against anyone else alleging any number of ridiculous claims.
In other words, you can be "served" a summons for just about any goofy
allegation, but the mere "service" of a complaint is ONLY notification
that a formal complaint has been filed and in NO WAY indicates that
the case has any merit whatsoever. The issue of "merit" is determined
by the court.

I hope you find that my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have
any questions about my research please post a clarification request
prior to rating the answer. Otherwise I welcome your rating and your
final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the
near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad-ga ? Google Answers Researcher


Defined above



Google ://





Request for Answer Clarification by guru21-ga on 17 Nov 2006 21:17 PST
Thank you for the answer.  Now, here is the clarification I need: 
please refer to section 19-3-30 of the Georgia Revised Code (I am
copying and pasting some text from that section)

"(c) The license shall be directed to any judge, including judges of
state and federal courts of record in this state, city recorder,
magistrate, minister, or other person of any religious society or sect
authorized by the rules of such society to perform the marriage
ceremony; such license shall authorize the marriage of the persons
therein named and require the judge, city recorder, magistrate,
minister, or other authorized person to return the license to the
judge of the probate court with the certificate thereon as to the fact
and date of marriage within 30 days after the date of the marriage.
The license with the return thereon shall be recorded by the judge in
a book kept by such judge for that purpose.
(d) The fact of issue of any unrecorded marriage license may be
established by affidavit of either party to a ceremonial marriage,
which affidavit shall set forth the date, the place, and the name and
title of the official issuing the license."

the license would require my signature under oath -- I never signed
any license).

"(e) In the event that any marriage license is not returned for
recording, as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, either
party to a ceremonial marriage may establish the marriage by
submitting to the judge of the probate court the affidavits of two
witnesses to the marriage ceremony setting forth the date, the place,
and the name of the official or minister performing the ceremony. The
judge shall thereupon reissue the marriage license and enter thereon
the certificate of marriage and all dates and names in accordance with
the evidence submitted and shall record and cross-index same in the
proper chronological order in the book kept for that purpose."

YOUR RESPONSE?  Plus, how could a judge based on affidavits from
witnesses to the ceremony IN OHIO and WITHOUT any signature from me
here IN GEORGIA reissue the marriage license and enter the information
on a certificate?  What am I missing here?

I would appreciate some clarification.

Thank you.

- Guru21

Clarification of Answer by tutuzdad-ga on 18 Nov 2006 09:11 PST
It doesn?t matter what Georgia law says about the Ohio marriage or the
subsequent registration or lack of registration. Georgia has no
jurisdiction over the matter. To find out what is relevant to the
potential validity or invalidity of your marriage you must consult
Ohio law (and also an Ohio attorney if you want to be really thorough)

??how could a judge based on affidavits from witnesses to the ceremony
IN OHIO and WITHOUT any signature from me here IN GEORGIA reissue the
marriage license and enter the information on a certificate??

In my estimation I don?t believe this would happen. If it ever did I
suspect there would have to have been some misrepresentation or
fraudulent act in order to enable it. One state simple doesn?t
?reissue? a marriage license in their state merely to validate or
reflect a marriage that took place in another state.

The only way for this guy to establish validity is to present to the
court documents showing that he is (and has been) legally married.
That includes having properly filed the license in the time prescribed
by law and having properly obtained the Ohio marriage license from
Ohio authorities. Short of that the only way he might establish
marriage is to file an affidavit with the court (in OHIO) that the two
of you were married without having filed the license, but even this
method would have required your signature. So it isn?t likely that he
did that either, unless of course (to quote myself) ?some
misrepresentation or fraudulent act? enabled it.

I look forward to your rating and final comments.

Good luck.
guru21-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thank you for the guidance and the timely response.  This has been
very helpful indeed.  Wish me luck now.  Thank you again.

Subject: To tutuzdad - urgent (no marriage license so how can I be served divorce papers)
From: mvguy-ga on 16 Nov 2006 22:53 PST
Anybody can file papers and/or sue anybody for almost any reason. But
that doesn't mean it'll hold up in court. Unless for some strange
reason you're married and don't know it (which is doubtful), this
should be a simple matter for an attorney to resolve.
Subject: Re: To tutuzdad - urgent (no marriage license so how can I be served divorce papers)
From: nelson-ga on 17 Nov 2006 05:19 PST
When did the supposed marriage take place?  According to,
common-law marriages were abolished in Ohio in 1991 and in Georgia in
1997.  If the "marriage" took place before then, you may be married
depending on the circumstances.
Subject: Re: To tutuzdad - urgent (no marriage license so how can I be served divorce papers)
From: nkamom-ga on 17 Nov 2006 10:47 PST
To have a common law marriage, you need to meet the following
requirements.  Enter into the relationship before 1991;  Have some
sort of ceremony or intent to be in a marriage-type relationship; 
hold yourself out to the public as husband and wife.
Subject: Re: To tutuzdad - urgent (no marriage license so how can I be served divorce papers)
From: denco-ga on 17 Nov 2006 11:27 PST
The common law marriage angle is moot in this case as this ceremony took place
after common law marriages were abolished in Ohio and Georgia.

Just be careful in Colorado if you check into a motel as "Mr. and Mrs." as that
could be a costly one night stand.  We still have common law marriage.
Subject: Re: To tutuzdad - urgent (no marriage license so how can I be served divorce papers)
From: guru21-ga on 17 Nov 2006 21:30 PST
Thank you all for posting your comments.  The marriage took place this
year.  I can not figure out how he could possibly establish validity
and serve me with divorce papers.  But, as mvguy-ga has pointed out,
just because someone writes something and submits it to the court does
not make it admissible in the court.  Even if he does claim and prove
the validity, the fact of no consummation (as he can not consummate --
he misrepresented and concealed his physical capabilities) would
qualify this for annulment, not divorce.  As a ceremonially married
couple, he and I have spent barely 26 to 28 hours in total together
over a span of 5 days.  I am hoping the judge will take this in to
account as well as how after packing up his things and leaving, he
never returned my messages when I tried to find out why he left. I am
just very curious to see how he can prove the validity here.  Thank
you again everyone.
Subject: Re: To tutuzdad - urgent (no marriage license so how can I be served divorce pap
From: irlandes-ga on 22 Nov 2006 21:05 PST
Judges take nothing in account, unless it is brought to their
attention by legal papers, by you or your attorney.  You will need to
get an attorney, assuming you can't do it yourself, which is likely,
since you are asking questions on GA.  And, that attorney must file
papers bringing these important details to the judges attention.
Judges don't go digging for the facts. We have in the US what is
called the adversarial system, and you have to present your side, via
your attorney.
Subject: Re: irlandes-ga
From: guru21-ga on 26 Nov 2006 17:17 PST
Thank you for bringing this to my attention.  I am duly warned and I
am much appreciative of this important fact and guidance.  I always
thought the LAW looks at the facts before making a decision on any
pleading.  It now seems based on your comment that I must prove TO THE
LAW what the facts are and then yes, the law will make a decision. 
Thank you again.

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