Post # 1
So…I have this friend. She confided in me that she was married in a destination wedding in Mexico some years ago. Her SO and her already had some doubts before the wedding, but everything was in place, so they went ahead with it and hoped to make the best of things. After the fact, they realized things were just not working out and broke up. They never registered the marriage back in the US.
Now, this friend is getting married again. Except, she considers that she was never married because it wasn’t made legal in the US. What exactly are the legalities of something like this? To be honest, I feel kind of weird going to her wedding, because something just feels dishonest about it. As far as I know, her fiance knows nothing about her previous “marriage” — she just told him she was “engaged” before but not that she actually got married.
Just how married are you if it takes place abroad but you never register it in the US? Does it even matter? I just feel like she is taking it so lightly, but I don’t know if it will ever come back to bite her in the end.
Post # 3
As far as I understand, you are still as married as ever. In practice, it probably won’t ever come up if she hasn’t registered it in the US and doesn’t plan on ever living in Mexico, but she is technically still married to her ex, and could potentially be guilty of bigamy if she remaries.
(I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice).
Post # 4
There was an episode of Gulianna and Bill about how they were married in Italy but didn’t file the paperwork in the US so they kept joking that they weren’t really married. I kind of feel like that means your friend is fine to get remarried. But again I’m basing my opinion on an E! show so I don’t know how helpful that is =)
Post # 5
I should add: it also obviously depends on whether the Mexico marriage was itself legally valid. I know a lot of people doing a Destination Wedding don’t actually get legally married out of country because of the paperwork hassles. So if they didn’t do all the paperwork, etc to make the marriage valid in Mexico, then they never got married at all, and should both be legally single and free to marry.
Post # 6
if they never registered the marriage in the us and are us citizens, they were not married in the us. you must file a marriage license at home.
so while it’s totally wrong of her to lie to her fi that she wasn’t married when she technically was, she was never considered married in the us.
Post # 7
A marriage in Mexico is valid in any other country. Your friend is still married. Two things will happen if she marries without obtaining a divorce:
1) She is committing bigamy
2) Her 2nd marriage will be void
Post # 8
2. In Mexico, only civil marriage is recognized as legal. Persons wishing to do so may also have a religious ceremony, but it has no legal effect and does not replace in any way the legal binding civil marriage. A civil wedding in Mexico is fully valid for legal purpose in the U.S.
I almost got married in Mexico and had a friend get married in Mexico. So unless she just did some kind of religious ceremony, you might want to pull a serious intervention on your friend ASAP.
Post # 9
It depends on what type of ceremony she had in Mexico. I’m getting married there so I do know a lot about this. If you have a “legal or civil” ceremony done in Mexico (usually costs more) all of your documents are in Spanish and must be translated when you arrive back home, but they are legally binding world wide. If you have a “dedication or celebratory” ceremony than it is not legally binding and you would not have been required to sign a marriage contract. That type is more for show for those being married back in their home country.
In order for her Mexico wedding to have been legally binding she would have been required to submit to a blood test and to have signed the legal marriage contract. If she didn’t do both of these things than the marriage isn’t binding. It would also depend on what year it was done, however, because I believe the blood test wasn’t mandatory 10+ years ago.
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Post # 10
Agree with PPs…your friend is legally married and even if she didn’t file her marriage certificate in the U.S., because of the documentation required by the Mexican government. there IS a record of her marriage, or at least intent to marry in the U.S.
Post # 11
ya i think it depends on whether her mexico wedding was legal or not. i am getting married in Jamaica and i know it will be completely legal and valid. i also had the option of doing the “paperwork” before i went and then just paying for a vow renewal package. but i decided i want my “wedding” day to be same as the date on my marriage license.
total curiosity – when her last “marriage” broke up, what did everyone else around them think? that they got a legal divorce?
Post # 12
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
Without knowing all the details… a marriage that’s valid in another jurisdiction (e.g., Mexico) is generally valid here. Your friend might be getting herself into a lot of trouble if she is planning another marriage when she is already married (you don’t need to “register” a foreign marrige in the U.S. for it to be valid here, as far as I can tell).
Disclaimer: this is not legal advice, and I am not anyone’s attorney. 😉