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Family Law: divorce proceedings, conclusion of marriage (USA)

Invalidity of religious marriage concluded in USA without observance of procedure of state registration.


Mr. Benjamin Newton, citizen of USA, addressed us with a request to restore his certificate of marriage, which was registered in 1965 in New York. The claimant himself has been living in California with his wife for 40 years, and he needs restoration of marriage certificate in order to effectuate retirement pension.

Our specialist in New York addressed the archive of registration of civil records in City Hall with a request to restore the marriage certificate. Complex of requests revealed that within the period from 1960 till 1970 no marriage was registered between Benjamin Newton and his wife Sara. The recommendation to apply to Albany with a similar request demonstrated the same result.

As a result of detailed investigation it was established that this marriage was a religious marriage – without further obligatory state registration. Thus, for more than 40 years the spouses have been living without registered marriage, which does not give rise to rights and obligations of spouses stipulated by the law.

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Karina Duvall
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