A typical “Wedding Checklist” can look something like this:
· Tailoring Suit
· Securing venue
· Picking flower arrangements
· Honeymoon planning
· Bow ties for the dogs.
One thing as a divorce attorney that I will forever recommend people add to that “Wedding Checklist” is double checking that they have been officially divorced (if previously married) before remarrying.
Why, you ask? Because this is a problem that I have seen one too many times. And it can be stressful, costly, and an emotional roller coaster.
The scenario goes like this: a married couple, with at least one of the individuals being previously married, find themselves in a predicament where they must provide proof of their marriage and proof of divorce for any prior marriages. However, when the previously married individual goes to Court to obtain the divorce decree, it isn’t there. In fact, the divorce decree does not exist because the divorce never took place.
Oh, no! How does this happen? It is simple, actually. Many people begin the dissolution of marriage process, often self-represented, and thinking that over time they will be automatically divorced. However, for a divorce to be granted, you have to obtain a “Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage,” either through an agreement or a trial.
The result of this mistake can be terrifying: your current marriage isn’t valid, and you are actually not legally divorced from your “ex-partner.” The good news is that as convoluted and as complicated as this may be, there is a solution.
An experienced family law attorney will be able to assist you in getting your current marriage annulled and assist you in divorcing your “ex-partner,” so that you can remarry.
So yes, if you are getting married and have been married before, securing proof of that prior divorce should be at the top of your wedding checklist.