Are you married or still single? What happens when the wedding had problems?

bride and groom being married by an unauthorized officiant

What happens if you had the wedding ceremony, but you didn’t get a license, or you forgot to register the marriage, or if it turns out your officiant was not qualified to marry you? Obviously it can be very stressful to find out that your wedding did not meet the legal requirements… unless, of course, you think the marriage was a mistake.  So, if the wedding ceremony was not legal, is the marriage?

Technically, you are not married if you did not follow through with all the requirements. 

However, if you and your spouse intended to be married at the ceremony, section 31 of the Marriages Act says that your marriage is deemed to be valid.  So, for all purposes of law - spousal support, property division, needing a court order to remarry, you are married.

If you want out of your marriage, then you should speak to a lawyer and plan your steps - there are some big mistakes you can makes if you are not careful.  For an explanation of what you should do if you are considering separating, watch this video, listen to this podcast, or check out this page.  Alternatively, you might want to a marriage contract to save your marriage by setting some rules to live while married or to set out what happens when you separate.

The Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law - $20 easy to understand book on Ontario Family Law and Ontario Family Court

In order to make the best decisions, you may also want to pick up this $20, easy-to-understand book about Ontario Family Law. It covers all the options and laws that apply when separating, and also discussed who to usemarriage contracts to address issues or potential issues between partners and spouses.

If you would like to discuss your situation and your options with John Schuman, then please use the form below.  You can also use that form to provide comments on this page.  If you found this page helpful, please feel free to share it on your social network using the buttons at the bottom of the page.

Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law Available on Kindle
© John P. Schuman 2014