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  1. #1
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Is a Marriage Void if a Spouse Misrepresented Her Age on the Marriage License

    My question involves a marriage in the state of Virginia. This marriage took place 28 years ago and the wife took off 6 months into the marriage after the husband found out she had lied about her name and date of birth in order to make herself of legal age. He never took care of annulling or divorcing the woman because he couldn't find her anywhere and didn't know how to go about it. Not to mention, people who knew her are pretty sure she is now deceased. Also, he never thought he would be getting married again (which he will in March). He has no idea how to fix this mess and doesn't have hundreds of dollars for a consultation so he is trying to get as much information as possible before calling a lawyer. He has already called the circuit court of the county they got their marriage license in and everything is still showing as they are married. Any advice wold be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: One Party Lied About Name and Dob Without the Other Knowing

    Quote Quoting abc81091
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    My question involves a marriage in the state of Virginia. This marriage took place 28 years ago and the wife took off 6 months into the marriage after the husband found out she had lied about her name and date of birth in order to make herself of legal age. He never took care of annulling or divorcing the woman because he couldn't find her anywhere and didn't know how to go about it. Not to mention, people who knew her are pretty sure she is now deceased. Also, he never thought he would be getting married again (which he will in March). He has no idea how to fix this mess and doesn't have hundreds of dollars for a consultation so he is trying to get as much information as possible before calling a lawyer. He has already called the circuit court of the county they got their marriage license in and everything is still showing as they are married. Any advice wold be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
    The easiest thing for him to do is confirm her death and get a death certificate.

    Do the people that knew her know where she was when she died? There are a variety of online search features and services that can probably locate the records.

    He should print out any court records showing he is married to her as he is likely to have to show a relationship to get a certified copy of a death certificate. Once he gets the death certificate he's home free to get married.

    If he cannot accomplish that he will have to file for a default divorce. An annulment is not an option because Fraud such as lies about age, health, wealth, and prior marriages aren’t enough to have a marriage annulled. Besides, he spent 6 months with her.

    He may have to end up serving by publication (with the consent of the court) if he cannot find her.

    His local court website should have forms and instructions. He does not necessarily need a lawyer for this. It's not a very complicated process and can probably be accomplished by next March if he starts right now.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: One Party Lied About Name and Dob Without the Other Knowing

    We are trying to find that out now because he knows people who are still touch with people who might have kept up with her. The biggest issue with this is that her death certificate would have her real name and date of birth whereas their marriage license/certificate does not. Do you know how that would affect the outcome of that scenario?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: One Party Lied About Name and Dob Without the Other Knowing

    If he finds the death certificate of somebody with the same name as his wife, but cannot prove that it's actually hers, then he should proceed with a divorce action. He can seek permission from the court for substituted service.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2006
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    16,188

    Default Re: One Party Lied About Name and Dob Without the Other Knowing

    Quote Quoting abc81091
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    We are trying to find that out now because he knows people who are still touch with people who might have kept up with her. The biggest issue with this is that her death certificate would have her real name and date of birth whereas their marriage license/certificate does not. Do you know how that would affect the outcome of that scenario?
    28 years ago people still had to provide ID in order to get a marriage license. Are you saying she had really good fake ID?

  6. #6
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Is a Marriage Void if a Spouse Misrepresented Her Age on the Marriage License

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    28 years ago people still had to provide ID in order to get a marriage license. Are you saying she had really good fake ID?
    She may have. He doesn't remember because it was a really long time ago. So she faked her name and her date of birth somehow. So the fact that she is deceased isn't really helping us because on paper...that's not who he married. I just don't even know how this legally got through in the first place. I don't think the courthouse did their job the way they should have but then again, I don't know what they verify outside of "providing proof of who you are."

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is a Marriage Void if a Spouse Misrepresented Her Age on the Marriage License

    Quote Quoting abc81091
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    My question involves a marriage in the state of Virginia. This marriage took place 28 years ago and the wife took off 6 months into the marriage after the husband found out she had lied about her name and date of birth in order to make herself of legal age. He never took care of annulling or divorcing the woman because he couldn't find her anywhere and didn't know how to go about it. Not to mention, people who knew her are pretty sure she is now deceased. Also, he never thought he would be getting married again (which he will in March). He has no idea how to fix this mess and doesn't have hundreds of dollars for a consultation so he is trying to get as much information as possible before calling a lawyer. He has already called the circuit court of the county they got their marriage license in and everything is still showing as they are married. Any advice wold be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.
    Some lawyers offer free half hour consultations...you could look for one of those.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,667

    Default Re: Is a Marriage Void if a Spouse Misrepresented Her Age on the Marriage License

    The answer is going to be simple. The marriage is NOT void. There are only a few cases of ab initio void marriages in Virginia: bigamy and certain blood relative relationship. Illegal age, fraud, etc... are perhaps voidable/anullable by the courts, but you will have to go to court to get it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Is a Marriage Void if a Spouse Misrepresented Her Age on the Marriage License

    You can't file a petition to void a marriage in Virginia based upon an allegation that your spouse was underaged, if you, yourself, were old enough to consent to the marriage. Virginia Code Sec. 20-89.1(d) ("A party who, at the time of such marriage as is mentioned in 20-48 or 20-49, was capable of consenting with a party not so capable, shall not be permitted to institute a suit for the purpose of annulling such marriage.") See also MacDougall v. Levick, 66 Va. App. 50, 782 S.E.2d 182 (2016).

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