In california my marriage license was not signed by the minister, am I still married. He did mail it in but unsigned.

Asked about 2 years ago - Sacramento, CA

I was married in 89, legally separated in 97, went to the county offices and the marriage certificate was not signed by the minister that married us. I asked the clerk and she said I don't know what that means, she should have asked a supervisor. Am wondering if I'm married or do I still need to get divorced. Thanks

Attorney answers (2)

  1. George Baker Richardson

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The clerk at court is not allowed to, nor should she / he give legal advice, such as the effect of the minister's failure to sign the certificate. There are a number on facts that would be relevant. Did you have a marriage license in 1989? Did both of you believe that you were actually married after the ceremony? Etc. You need to talk with an experienced family law attorney to assist you. You can consult with a lawyer about your question for little or no cost through a lawyer referral service in your area. You can find your nearest lawyer referral service by clicking on the link below.

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  2. Michael John Apicella

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Based on the limited facts you stated, you're likely married. You said the marriage cert was recorded with the county. A simple technicality based on the mistake of the minister not signing the marriage cert is not reason alone to undo your marriage.

    You also aid that you were "legally separated." Do you mean that you filed a petition for legal separation and obtained a judgment of separation from the court? If so, then at that time, you've essentially waived any claim that your marriage was not valid due to the aforementioned technicality.

    I'd suggest that you hire a local family law lawyer and proceed with a divorce action, rather than waste money or more time on this issue. It will likely be fruitless.

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