As the world embraces the advances that technology has fostered, many Texas couples are opting to have their marriage vows performed by a friend. It is now easier than ever for almost anyone to be ordained online, and more millennials who do not identify with a particular religion are opting for this now-popular option. Many fail to realize the potential consequences of such a choice and may find that their marriage and prenuptial agreement may not be valid.
As divorce continues to befall upwards of half of all marriages, the issue of having one's marriage officiated by a friend who obtained an ordination online may fall under scrutiny in court. Almost half of all marriages in which a friend officiated and the couple files for divorce have been ruled by a court to be null and void. If the marriage wasn't valid, a prenuptial agreement would not be honored.
Each state is responsible for writing the laws concerning who is granted the right to perform a marriage. Most states consider a government official or a member of the clergy to be sufficient. Those who gain ordination through an online venue do meet either requirement.
Hiring an experienced Texas family law attorney to interpret the law to make sure one's intended marriage will be valid is crucial when planning to use a loved one to perform the nuptials. If the nuptials are not considered valid, a prenuptial agreement would follow suit. Texas is a common law state, and a ruling that a marriage was never valid in the first place could substantially impact the division of any property gained during the course of a relationship.
Source: people.howstuffworks.com, "Friends Don't Let (Online-Ordained) Friends Officiate at Their Weddings", Dave Roos Apr, April 4, 2018