Are Destination Weddings Legally Valid?

The short answer is that they can be.

If you complied with the legal formalities of a marriage in the jurisdiction where you got married, your marriage would almost certainly be considered valid and legally binding here. Whether or not your marriage is valid and legally binding will have a direct impact on your rights and obligations on separation under the law with respect to, amongst other things, property division.

There are typically options in regards to the type of ceremony you may have at your destination wedding. These range from being strictly symbolic to being formal and legally binding. It is strongly recommended that, regardless of the nature of the ceremony you choose at your destination wedding, you obtain a marriage license here and have at least a civil ceremony here as well.

A marriage that may otherwise be deemed invalid (eg. no marriage license, ceremony not in compliance with local requirements in the jurisdiction where marriage occurred and things of that nature) may be validated if a judge finds that: i) the marriage was solemnized in good faith; ii) the marriage was intended to be in compliance with the Marriage Act; iii) neither party was under a legal disqualification to contract marriage; and iv) the parties lived together and cohabited as a married couple after solemnization.

If you had a destination wedding, are considering separation or are separated and you’re not sure whether or not your marriage is legally valid and binding, please feel free to contact Sunny Chhabra at (289) 240-6198.