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Recent Developments in Tennessee Regarding Marriage and Divorce

A Tennessee court ruled that a marriage was valid despite the husband's claim that the officiating clergyman was not qualified to perform marriages and had failed to return a signed marriage license to the county clerk within three days of the marriage as required by law.

Tennessee
State:
Key point. A person's legal authority to solemnize marriages is determined by the tenets of his or her religion.
Key point. A marriage is not necessarily void because a technical requirement is not met.

A Tennessee court ruled that a marriage was valid despite the husband's claim that the officiating clergyman was not qualified to perform marriages and had failed to return a signed marriage license to the county clerk within three days of the marriage as required by law. An Iranian couple living in Tennessee were formally engaged in Iran in October of 1994. After returning to Tennessee, the man negotiated a marriage contract the woman's father in accordance with Islamic custom. In this contract, the man agreed that his future wife's dowry would be 1,400 Iranian gold coins and that he would pay her 10,000 Iranian gold coins if he violated any provision of the contract. Because ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • January 1, 1999

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