I have been married for 5 years now. We are quite happy. We want to renew our wedding vows for our anniversary. However, for family law purposes, which marriage date will be official if we renew our wedding vows and remarry?
Renewing your vows with your legal spouse is not the same as getting married. I'm assuming that as part of this anniversary ceremony, you're not applying for a marriage license, and then having it resubmitted to the county clerk to be recorded as a marriage. In essence, your anniversary "ceremony" is not part of an official marriage ceremony as part of an effort to satisfy the legal marriage requirements in CA. Hence, if either spouse ever seeks a divorce, the date of marriage will be the one that is recorded with the county recorder's office (i.e. from your original wedding date).
The original wedding date is the date of marriage unless you got divorced and are re-marrying.
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You always go with the "intent" of the parties. You must look into the facts/details. Generally if you have remarried but just for the sake of renewing your vows, then it will not be valid. Unless it can be shown through the intent of the parties.