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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Do husbands/wives have to be informed of past marriages?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (11979points) August 31st, 2010 from iPhone

Hypothetically speaking, if a person had been married (and divorced) in the past, and they remarry in the future, does their new spouse legally have to be informed of the past marriage? Would this information show up when they applied for their marriage license?

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22 Answers

Seek's avatar

When we got our marriage license (Florida), all we had to do was “solemnly swear and affirm” that we were not currently married to any other people, to the best of our knowledge.

tinyfaery's avatar

I seriously doubt it. But that seems like something one might want to disclose to the person they are going to marry.

wgallios's avatar

I don’t think they are required to know of any previous marriages (at least not in Nevada). If the other party was however not fully divorced at the time of marriage, that is grounds for an annulment.

Blackberry's avatar

Not legally, but if one isn’t going to reveal that information, they shouldn’t be getting married.

NaturallyMe's avatar

I’ve never heard of such a law. But i would be sceptic of anyone who would think about not telling their partner about this.

AmWiser's avatar

Because marriage licenses are a matter of public record, it doesn’t matter if you inform your new spouse or not. If they really wanted to find out, they could…..Unless you changed your identity.

marinelife's avatar

basically, what kind of marriage would you be entering if it was based on a dishonest assumption—that you had not been married? That is why you would tell your spouse-to-be.

But any simple background check would turn up a past marriage.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@marinelife I agree. This is just a hypothetical question. Just a random thought that came to me while I was watching tv. I’m already married. And neither of us have been married in the past ;)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Hmm, when we got our marriage license, they did ask us to bring our divorce papers and did mention our previous marriages in the application.

Frenchfry's avatar

I think you should tell your future husband of your past marriage. Why keep it a secret? You would not have to worry about all this then. Just call the Marriage license place in your state and ask. That is what I would do.

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

They don’t have to know legally, but its best not to hide it from them.

So I’m agreeing with @Frenchfry

Seek's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir See? That’s why I love New York, and why I hate Florida. Stupid southerners half-assing everything… grr.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Well, you should move then.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Laws against bigamy were designed to protect children and unemployed wives. Why would something like that make you call us “stupid?”

Seek's avatar

@CaptainHarley Pay attention, homes.

I mentioned that in Florida, I was not even asked whether we had been previously married. They simply made us hold up a hand and say “nope, I’m not married right now”.

In New York, where @Simone_De_Beauvoir lives, they not only asked whether they were previously married, but made them bring documentation to prove the divorce.

That is why Florida is half-assed.

My issues with bigamy have nothing to do with “protecting children and unemployed wives”, but that’s a discussion for another day.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I saw a soap opera actress on a talk show once say that in her home state of Kentucky all they ask on the marriage license is that you verify your are not first cousins or closer in relation or something like that lol. I don’t know if it is true, but she sounded serious, but said it because she knew it would get a laugh.

Seek's avatar

@JLeslie My mom and stepfather got married in Kentucky. They actually require a blood test to make sure you’re not related. True story.

CaptainHarley's avatar


No, it’s not. Or at least it’s not one I want to participate in.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr the old blood test days, which were required in many states, were for syphilis I thought. Back then they did not have the technology to decipher if related by blood tests.

I did some searching and it says Kentucky won’t recognize a marriage between cousins even from another state. I actually have a very close friend whose parents are first cousins, they are from Italy, but had immigrated to Venezuela. So in Kentucky, and maybe in other states, technically they are not married for 50 some years.

Seaofclouds's avatar

In Delaware and Texas they ask for the divorce papers from previous marriages. At least they did when I got married in those states.

laureth's avatar

When I applied for a marriage license in Michigan, we had to reveal past marriages (how many, and I believe they also asked names) right on the application. Because we both have to sign and have access to the information on the application, there are two choices – reveal past marriages to the current one, or commit fraud.

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