If an unauthorized person solemnized a marriage, will the marriage be invalid?

Full Question:

What if a marriage was solemnized by a person who is not authorized to do so. Will the marriage be invalid? Need West Virginia law on this.
03/01/2017   |   Category: Marriage   |   State: West Virginia   |   #33108


No, a marriage can’t be declared invalid solely because it was solemnized by an unauthorized person in West Virginia. There are many other factors that a court may look into in such cases, like if the marriage is legal other ways (like the parties are not minor, are not related by blood etc.), and that the man and woman married each other in good faith then the court might ignore the fact that an unauthorized person solemnized it.

W. Va. Code § 48-2-601 says:

“Belief of parties in lawful marriage validates certain defects.

If a marriage is solemnized by a person professing to be authorized to celebrate marriages when, in fact, the person is not authorized, or if a marriage is solemnized after the license is expired, the marriage is not void and subject to a judgment of nullity based on that fact alone if:

     (1) The marriage is lawful in all other respects, and
     (2) The marriage is consummated with a full belief on the part of either or both of the persons married that they have been lawfully joined in marriage.”