Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, April 7, 2006

Case Law Development: No License, No Marriage

Family Law casebooks nearly universally address the problem of a marriage with a defect in solemnization, providing those lovely cases in which students learn about laws that are "directory rather than mandatory."  New Jersey court of appeals reminds us that no such leeway will be given to couples to try to marry without a license.  The court held that a couple's marriage was void despite solemnization by an authorized cleric, as they failed to obtain license to marry and New Jersey statutes declare that any purported marriage performed without marriage license is "absolutely void."  Various validating acts addressed marriages with defects in solemnization did not excuse absence of a license.

Yaghoubinejad v. Haghighi, 2006 N.J. Super. LEXIS 99 (April 4, 2006) bgf

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This is a pretty logical consequence of not having common law marriage. The important question from a justice perspective is whether the New Jersey courts, either by statute or in general equity jurisdiction permit a putative spouse some form of remedy when a relationship ends.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Apr 12, 2006 10:18:56 AM

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