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Marriage License Never Returned to County Clerk; Marriage Still Valid

Nebraska Supreme Court rules a 26-year-marriage valid because the existence of marriage was provable without official record.

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Key point 3-04. All states permit clergy to perform marriage ceremonies. However, some states permit only "ordained" or some other classification of clergy to perform marriage ceremonies. It is important for clergy to determine if they are legally authorized to perform marriages under applicable state law, and to be aware of the legal qualifications for marriage and any license and reporting requirements prescribed by state law.

The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that a marriage of 26 years was valid despite the fact that the judge who performed the marriage ceremony failed to return a certificate of marriage to the county clerk as required by law. A couple was married by a judge at a county courthouse. Prior to their marriage the couple obtained a "License and Certificate of Marriage" form. This form contained a section to be completed by the person solemnizing the marriage certifying that ...

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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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  • December 17, 2013

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