Yaghoubinejad v. Haghighi

The Court invalidated a marriage where the couple failed to obtain a marriage license as required under New Jersey law.

Yaghoubinejad v. Haghighi, 384 N.J. Super. 339; 894 A.2d 1173 (2006) Court: Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

Husband and Wife were married in New Jersey. The couple participated in a marriage ceremony in accordance with Islam, but never obtained a marriage license. Four years later, the Wife filed for divorce. The Husband filed a motion to dismiss the Wife’s divorce complaint and sought evidence of a legal marriage. The trial court dismissed the Husband’s motion and found the marriage to be valid.

The Husband appealed the trial court’s decision. On appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s decision and found the marriage to be invalid. The court stated that while New Jersey statutes address defects in the solemnization, the current case where the couple did not obtain a marriage license is not covered. The court also dismissed the Wife’s argument that the Husband is estopped from challenging the legality of the marriage. The couple had not acquired any real property or joint liabilities, and the Wife was not seeking equitable distribution. The court stated that the Husband’s motion to dismiss the Wife’s divorce complaint should have been granted.

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