Monday, November 5, 2007

Problem with internet ordained ministers and marriages?

I saw this article, Court Ruling Spikes Internet Ministers, Highlights Legal Issue, last week at the Divorce Law Journal and I was a bit surprised. Not surprised that there might this kind of problem but at the sheer number of online ordained ministers.

Their warnings follow a recent Pennsylvania court decision in which a judge declared a marriage invalid because the couple had been married by an Internet-ordained minister. The court ruled that the officiate was unauthorized under state law to perform a wedding. Heyer v. Hollerbush, No. 2007 SU 2132 Y08 (York Co., Pa., Ct. C.P).
I think the Pennsylvania lawyers protest too much. Questioning the validity of the marriage has long standing even if it is not something that comes to the mind of most divorce lawyers. Indiana has a recent Court of Appeals decision dealing with a valid marriage question. The Indiana Supreme Court took that case on transfer. See Updating the family farm, a step-father and a dead mom on this blog.

Recently, I had a potential client ask if I wanted to see the marriage certificate. I may want to change my answer and look at the marriage certificates.

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