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- NCAJ | Marriage Information | North Carolina Advocates for Justice
And three states besides Connecticut — Alabama, Virginia and Tennessee — as well as other jurisdictions, prohibit weddings performed by ministers who do not have active ministries. In many other states, including New York, the rules about ministers ordained online are less clear. Often, even city, county and state officials are uncertain of the parameters. Wedding announcements may generate more confusion.
The New York Times has a policy of publishing articles only about weddings in which it can confirm that the officiant is legally empowered to perform the ceremony. Nonetheless, confusion over which jurisdictions permit what officiants has led to the publication of articles about at least a dozen weddings in recent years that in retrospect appear questionable.
Friends Officiating Weddings 101: Everything You Need to Know
The laws regarding officiants are there to ensure that only people of sufficient standing perform a ceremony that is a keystone of society. Elnora Douglas, the office coordinator of the St. Louis County marriage license department, finds it odd that couples would want to circumvent them. View all New York Times newsletters. A county clerk later told a Times reporter that it was legal. The option of standing before a judge or justice of the peace did not appeal to them.
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That may not be the wisest course, said Louise Truax, a lawyer in Fairfield, Conn. Inheritance rights could also be in jeopardy, and couples could have trouble with the I. And 39 states, including Connecticut, do not recognize common-law marriage, so the idea that time together will legalize the union does not apply. FOR that reason, officials in many states discourage couples from using ministers ordained online, even when they have not been explicitly ruled illegal. New York State, New Jersey and Florida have very broadly worded laws that seem to allow ministers ordained online to perform weddings.
Yet it was in New York that a marriage performed by an online minister was invalidated. In , the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court ruled in a divorce case involving a Suffolk County couple that their marriage and a prenuptial agreement were void because the officiant had been a Universal Life minister.
Or perhaps not. The office issued its own rule last October, allowing Universal Life ministers to again officiate at weddings in the five boroughs.
Hensley of the Universal Life Church, who defended his church and the authenticity of its wedding practitioners. So where does that leave couples who cannot confirm whether their marriages are valid or not? Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the main story Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.
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Pickard , NC App , the court applied judicial estoppel to prohibit a husband from obtaining an annulment based on the solemnization of his marriage ceremony by a Universal Life minister after he previously alleged in court filings that he and his wife were validly married. And in Duncan v.
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NCAJ | Marriage Information | North Carolina Advocates for Justice
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