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If you have divorce questions

What do I have to do to make my out-of-state marriage valid in Georgia?

Each state has different laws regarding who may get married in that state as well as different license and ceremony requirements. So what happens if you get married in one state and then move to another? Is your marriage still valid? The simple answer is yes…usually.

Georgia law states “[a]ll marriages solemnized in another state by parties intending at the time to reside in this state shall have the same legal consequences and effect as if solemnized in this state.” O.C.G.A. § 19-3-43.  Thus, if you get married legally in the state of Texas, your marriage will be recognized by the state of Georgia if you later choose to move here.  If the marriage is valid where it was performed, it will be recognized as valid in Georgia.

There is one caveat, however.  Georgia law states that “[p]arties residing in this state may not evade any of the laws of this state as to marriage by going into another state for the solemnization of the marriage ceremony.” Id.  This means that two men cannot travel to marry each other in Vermont, where gay marriage is legal, and then come back to Georgia expecting that this state will recognize the marriage.  Since gay marriage is prohibited in Georgia, the marriage will be considered void in this state. O.C.G.A. § 19-3-3.1.


General Family Law
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