How can you prove no marriage occurred between two people?

January 21, 2013 | By

Question by alahomoa: How can you prove no marriage occurred between two people?
I have this lady I know, and she's involved in some legal issues, and the court has repeatedly stated she was married to this other person, but she was not. They refuse to look into this themselves. Is there any way to force the court to investigate this or is there some document you can obtain proving that no marriage between two individuals ever occurred? Any help with this tricky question would be greatly appreciated as I am no lawyer myself. I saw something called "Certificate of No Public Marriage" but I'm not sure if this would do the trick?

Best answer:

Answer by wizjp
Can't prove a negative. The other legal issues are too vague to offer an opinion on. Obviously a court can order her to present a valid copy of a marriage license and/or the court where it was registered.

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Comments (2)

  1. The French Connection

    i’m not a lawyer either, but it would seem that in order for the court to make such a statement, then some type of legal document must exist that states this.
    what is the basis for their ruling?

    if they say this, then she must find out what town & state they claim that she was married in. then go to there and ask if they have any record of her supposed marraige on file.

  2. cybersharque

    You’d need to tell us which state the proceeding is in and where the two “married” people have lived since they became adults.

    There are many states–“common law marriage states”–in which a single episode of connubial bliss, coupled with any statement by the man (“This is real, baby, trust me”) that induces the woman to think it’s not a one night stand actually raises a presumption of matrimony.

    If there is no basis in fact for the declaration, then she can seek to have the judge disqualified for prejudging this issue, if it is in fact material to the case.

    If the judge is saying that the two were married in X county, Y state, then you can get a certificate from the clerk of the county that says he has diligently searched his files from Z date (the earliest date that either partner was of marriagable age) and he finds no such record exists. That’s a “negative certificate,” and unless we’re dealing with a common law marriage state, it would be prima facie proof that the two are not married.

    Also, a divorce certificate would be proof that they are no longer married.