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Q: Annulment without a marriage license ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   14 Comments )
Subject: Annulment without a marriage license
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: guru21-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 25 Sep 2006 19:13 PDT
Expires: 25 Oct 2006 19:13 PDT
Question ID: 768411
I was married in Ohio this past July (although I am a resident of
Georgia from the last 11 months).  My spouse is also a resident of
Georgia from the past 11 months.  He failed to go to the county office
(in Ohio) to obtain a marriage license before the ceremony was
performed.  He told me we would/could take care of it later by coming
back to Georgia and registering the marriage.  He and I returned to
Georgia after the wedding ceremony and within 15 days he packed up his
bags and left.  I am beginning to think he pulled this stunt so he
could get his family's visa sponsorship done (by telling the
government overseas he was getting married, his family received 10
year visas and of course his family attended the wedding).  Now I am
left holding the bag.  I have no marriage license and no certificate
and I want to file for an annulment.  What can I do to legally remove
him from my life?  If I can?t get an annulment, then will the court
possibly give me a piece of paper that states I was never legally
married to this person?

Request for Question Clarification by tutuzdad-ga on 29 Sep 2006 07:17 PDT
If you provide me with the name of the county in which the marriage
was licensed and the county in which the marriage ceremony took place
I may be able to provide you with an authoritative answer as to
whether the marriage is valid or not.


Clarification of Question by guru21-ga on 30 Sep 2006 20:25 PDT
Tutuzdad-ga:  There is no marriage license.  He had told me when we
get to Georgia (after the ceremony), we could get the marriage
registered.  The ceremony took place in OH.
Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 01 Oct 2006 15:30 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Dear guru21-ga;

Thank you for allowing me to answer your interesting question.
Initially my understanding of your question was that your estranged
?spouse? had obtained a marriage license but did not return the
license to the registrar in the time allotted, thus your question
revolved around whether or not the marriage ceremony solemnized a
valid marriage. Now that I?ve read your clarification and have a new
understanding of what it is you are asking about, I believe I can
adequately answer your question with definitive information. Bear in
mind that our answers are not intended to substitute for professional
legal advice and what I am telling you is merely a matter of published
law. The best advice of course would come from an attorney licensed to
practice family law in the state of Ohio. Here goes:

To begin with, the fact that you are residents of the State of Georgia
is entirely irrelevant to your question. What took place in Ohio is
governed by the laws of Ohio and any rules, regulations, laws or
statutes of the State of Georgia have no jurisdiction in the matter

With that in mind let?s examine that the laws of the State of Ohio say
on the matter:

In setting forth the rules for a legal marital union Ohio Revised Code
opens the statute with the following simple statement (I will
capitalize portions here for emphasis purposes only):

?The parties to a marriage SHALL make an application for a MARRIAGE LICENSE.?

 3101.05. License application

Clearly, if this legal obligation is not met (and it your case it was
not), no legal marriage can logically take place. The statute goes on
to make other pertinent issues necessary for the legalization of a
marital union (Again, I will capitalize portions here for emphasis
purposes only):

?EACH OF THE PERSONS seeking a marriage license SHALL PERSONALLY
APPEAR IN THE PROBATE COURT within the county where either resides,
or, if neither is a resident of this state, where the marriage is
expected to be solemnized.?
-- If you have not met this legal requirement (and you didn?t) you
have obviously not fulfilled the minimum requirements necessary to
become legally married.
?If neither party is a resident of this state, the marriage may be
solemnized only in the county WHERE THE LICENSE IS OBTAINED.?
-- If you did not obtain a marriage license in the county in which the
ceremony took place (and you didn?t), you have not fulfilled the
statutory requirements necessary to become legally married.

?EACH PARTY SHALL MAKE APPLICATION and shall state upon oath, the
party's name, age, residence, place of birth, occupation, father's
name, and mother's maiden name, if known, and the name of the person
who is expected to solemnize the marriage.?
-- If you did not make this oath at the county Court in which the
ceremony took place (and you didn?t), you have not fulfilled the
statutory requirements necessary to become legally married.

There are other issues similar to these too but I?m sure you have
enough evidence now to rule out the question as to whether your
?marriage? is valid or not. With that in mind, your estranged ?spouse?
cannot claim that he has entered into a common-law marriage with you
because this ?ceremony? that took place in the state of Ohio. Why?
Because the only common-law marriages Ohio recognizes are those that
were entered into prior to October 10, 1991 or those that arose in
another state according to that state's laws (and you CAN?T be in a
common-law marriage with him in YOUR home state because Georgia
repealed its common-law marriage statute, [GA. CODE ANN.  19-3-1 and
19-3-1.1] which voids any common law marriage claimed to have been
contracted on or after January 1, 1997).



Moreover, such a relationship is not only prohibited by state statute,
but it is also prohibited by the State Constitution.

Ohio Revised Code section 3101.01(4) says:

?Any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other state,
country, or other jurisdiction outside this state that extends the
specific benefits of legal marriage to nonmarital relationships
between persons of the same sex or different sexes shall be considered
and treated in all respects as having no legal force or effect in this
state and shall not be recognized by this state.?

Furthermore, the Constitution of the State of Ohio (via  15.11
Marriage Amendment) prohibits any marital union that does not conform
to the legal union set forth by state law. The amendment says in part:

??This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or
recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals
that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or
effect of marriage.?
OHIO CONSTITUTION ARTICLE. XV, SECTION 11 (approved by the electorate
on November 2, 2004):

With all this publicly available information in mind, one cannot undo
that which has not been done. In other words, you cannot legally
dissolve a marriage that never legally took place. Having said that,
not only is there no NEED to annul the ?marriage?, THERE IS NO
MARRIAGE to annul. As a matter of fact, there?s not even a legal
provision for such an annulment. Some religious beliefs however have
differing views on the solemnity of marriage government statutes
notwithstanding, so depending on one?s religion (if you are so
inclined) there may be some actionable measures that one?s church,
synagogue, temple or other congregation or clergy can (i.e., could or
should) take based on your affiliation?s doctrine that provides for a
religious annulment of some sort, but as far as legal provisions and
obligations, it appears that there are none. In short, you cannot tear
down a house that was never built.

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





Google ://




Revised Code





Clarification of Answer by tutuzdad-ga on 03 Oct 2006 06:03 PDT
Thank you for your rating and final comments. I look forward to
addressing your follow-up question in a seperate post. If you would
like "me" specifically to answer that question simply put "to
tutuzdad" in the subject line or in the body of your new question and
I will respond.

guru21-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thank you for the time you took in researching the Ohio Revised Code
for me.  I do appreciate your effort and your timeliness in
responding.  Yes, you are right, there is no marriage and therefore
nothing to annul.  The question now becomes what kind of legal action
can I take against him as all indications now point to the word
"fraud".  After my family and I spent close to $34K in putting this
wedding together, all he was really looking for was visas for his
family.  The photo album, the catering, the banquet hall, the outfits,
etc., etc. plus affidavits of the photographer, the priest and the
like are the things I should collect.  Any thoughts?  I guess now this
becomes an ordeal for the INS to go after.  Thanks again.

Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: daniel2d-ga on 25 Sep 2006 20:40 PDT
If there was no license then you were not legally married.  As far as
the state is concered you were not married - there is no legal record
of the marriage. An annulment is issued by the church to dissolve a
marriage.  You can easily get that based on his leaving and no

I would report the marriage scam to the INS so those visas can be revoked for fraud.
Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: probonopublico-ga on 25 Sep 2006 21:07 PDT
I agree with Daniel ... What an awful trick to have pulled.

At least, you are much better off without him.

Good Luck!

Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: cynthia-ga on 26 Sep 2006 20:11 PDT
I agree with both posters, no license, no marriage. The "ceremony"
portion of the marriage is simply a ritual. The legal portion, what
actually marries you, has never been done. You are NOT married, not
only that you have nothing to prove, nothing to file, no legal action
is necessary to restore your single status. You were never married.
Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: guru21-ga on 26 Sep 2006 20:15 PDT
So the church (in my case a temple) can issue an "annulment" of its
own stating the dissolve of a marriage?  Another words, if I talk to
the priest, there is such a thing that can be granted?

I and my family will certainly not let him get off the hook.  I will
report this to the INS.  Also, him not getting a license or going to
the court house to register the marriage after the ceremony are enough
grounds for fraud (considering the 10s of affidavits I can get that
would attest to the show my family put up -- "show" in terms of the
wedding arrangements, the bills, the outfits, the banquet hall, the
hotel rooms, the food, the music, the photo albums, etc.).

Thanks for the "Good Luck" Bryan, I will need it.  I appreciate both
you and Daniel trying to offer your help by way of sharing your
knowledge.  Tell me more about the church issuing an annulment if you
can (I will be highly obliged).

Thanks again.

- Guru21
Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: guru21-ga on 26 Sep 2006 20:19 PDT

Correct, there is nothing to prove as legally there was no marriage. 
You are right.  Without a license/certificate, I have nothing I can
get in the form of an annulment from the government.  I will however
pursue this to the nth degree insofar as filing this as a fraudulent
endeavor on his part.  Also, as Daniel is suggesting, maybe through my
priest I can get some type of document that states the marriage
ceremony is being annuled, if they can do something like that.  Thanks
for your thoughts.
Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: cynthia-ga on 26 Sep 2006 22:01 PDT
In order for the church to annul a marriage, it must exist. Simply
exchanging vows is not a marriage, even to the church. There is
nothing to annul. You are not married, not by the letter of the law,
or in the eyes of God... The ceremony is meaningless without the
license, no matter how much you meant it. You don't need a
spiritual/religious annulment because, --you are not married. You
can't annul feelings of being married and being deceived.

I understand that you *feel* married, I suggest you talk to your
Minister or Priest and try to resolve your feelings. Perhaps s/he can
give you a letter to make you feel better, but you won't get an
annulment because you must have been legally married in the first
place for the church to grant an annulment.
Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: probonopublico-ga on 26 Sep 2006 22:13 PDT
I agree with Cynthia.

You must talk it through with your priest. He's the only person who
can give you the comfort that you require.

Please let us know how you get on.

Again, Good Luck!

Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: cynthia-ga on 26 Sep 2006 22:35 PDT
Here's a small measure of proof:

Questions about Annulments

..."How do I start the procedure?

A Catholic who wishes to clarify his/her status before the Church
should first approach their parish priest or deacon to find out the
particulars of diocesan policy. In most cases, the person is asked to
write a resume of their background, their courtship, their
difficulties in the marriage, the cause or causes, in their judgment,
for the separation, the divorce and their life after divorce. This is
sent to the Marriage Tribunal along with certified copies of marriage
license, divorce decree, baptismal information and other papers..."

4. Who can apply for an annulment?
..."Almost always, a person seeking an annulment is someone who has
been married, is now divorced and wishes to marry again, specifically
in the Catholic Church.

Divorced people, no matter what their religious affiliation, have a
carefully-protected right in this Church to ask the Church to
determine whether or not their previous marriage was valid. If they
are not of the Catholic faith, they seek this generally because they
wish to remarry, and the intended spouse is a Catholic who wants the
marriage to be recognized by the Catholic Church. We respect the vows
of marriage of all people, no matter what their religious affiliation
is. Members of the Catholic Church, however, are bound to have their
marriage recognized by the Church. This is why members of other
churches must often go through an annulment process before they can
marry someone in the Catholic Church..."

And at the same site:


..."The annulment process requires the following: 

A) The petitioner contacts his/her parish priest or a Tribunal Staff
Member in order to petition and begin the annulment procedure.

1) The petitioner needs to present the following documents at the time
of the application:

a) Baptismal certificate of self and of former spouse.
b) Certificate of marriage.
c) Divorce decree (Final Judgment).
d) Current address of former spouse.
e) An initial fee of $100.00 (which represents one-fifth of the
$500.00 total legal work expense involved.)
Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: guru21-ga on 27 Sep 2006 18:58 PDT
Thanks to everyone for their comments.
Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: cynthia-ga on 27 Sep 2006 20:15 PDT
Good luck to you, this is a terrible thing that has happened to you,
you deserve to be happy! I wish you the very best.
Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: guru21-ga on 28 Sep 2006 15:21 PDT
Thanks Cynthia.  Yes, this is pretty much a nightmare.  But, you know,
what goes around, comes around in the book of the Almighty.
Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: probonopublico-ga on 01 Oct 2006 21:17 PDT
Well, guru21, based on the various comments and Tutuzdad's answer, it
certainly looks to be good news all the way.

And you certainly deserve it.

As you know, we are all rooting for you.

Again, Good Luck!

Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: guru21-ga on 02 Oct 2006 19:45 PDT
Bryan and all:  thank you for the good wishes.  I need all the
"rooting" I can get :).  Thanks again.
Subject: Re: Annulment without a marriage license
From: probonopublico-ga on 02 Oct 2006 23:00 PDT
Hi Guru21

That was an awful lot of money to lose (on top of the emotional
distress) but please don't hold your breath on recovering any.

He appears to be a very tricky character and, even if you hunt him
down, you may find that he has no assets worth a damn. He might have
already prepared himself for a legal attack.

It then may be a case of throwing good money after bad.

As Daniel commented earlier, maybe you can hurt him most by reporting
him to the INS.

I suggest that it may be best then to draw a line under this tragic
event and to look positively to the future which is sure to be all the
better without him.

All the Best


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