A Somerset County resident is arguing that he cannot get divorced from his wife due to a technicality. According to court records, the couple got married nine days before a marriage license was issued to them in December 1993. The man is citing prior court rulings that declared ceremonial marriages to be void. State law says that a marriage license needs to be obtained before a wedding ceremony takes place. The claim was filed in May 2014, but was only made public recently.
Attorneys for the man's wife filed documents in June 2014 claiming that the two filed joint tax returns and otherwise did things that married couples do. Reports also state that the man gave her greeting cards in which he referred to her as his "wife". Furthermore, the couple had three children and lived together for 20 years before filing for divorce earlier in 2014. The couple's house in Warren is valued at approximately $2 million.
The man reportedly made $6.6 million in 2013 and is the son of a minority owner of the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL. In December 2013, the man's wife claimed that she was pushed by her husband, and she was granted a temporary restraining order against him. The couple is expected to be in court in October 2014.
In divorce cases where no marriage certificate exists or it was not obtained before a wedding, it does not mean that a divorce case is automatically dismissed. If a couple lives together, files joint tax returns or raises children together, a court may consider them married for practical purposes. Those who are seeking a divorce may seek out the assistance of a family law attorney to help pursue the case.
Source: Philly.com, "Rich N.J. man wants divorce dismissed over marriage-license delay", Peter Mucha, September 19, 2014