Fugitive/Criminal Minister: Is The Marriage Still Legal?

Fugitive/Criminal Minister: Is The Marriage Still Legal?

The Question:

If the ordained minister that performed your marriage ceremony was a fugitive using an alias, is the marriage still legal?  Our minister was a convicted killer who fled parole and started a wedding chapel in Arizona.  Is the marriage legal?

RJ Says:

The answer depends on the law of the state you are in. I can only answer as to Arizona. If either or both of you THOUGHT he had authority to marry you, then I do believe the marriage was/is valid.

Arizona law requires

  1. A marriage ceremony.
  2. A properly issued and solemnized license is filed prior to expiration.
  3. That the marriage is solemnized (A) by a person authorized by law to solemnize marriages or (B) by a person purporting to act in such capacity and believed in good faith by at least one of the parties to be so authorized.

So, if he purported to act with authority, and either or both of you believed in good faith that he had authority, you were and are legally married.

Do you have a question? Send it to RJ, and we’ll get you the answer you need.