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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27196
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Good Afternoon, My fiancée Meghan and I found a home on

Customer Question

Good Afternoon,

My fiancée Meghan and I found a home on Long Island, NY that we would like to purchase. I've spoken with a Mortgage Bank, and they told me that getting a VA Loan would be the best course of action, as I am a two-time veteran of both Iraq & Afghanistan. I know that as far as the military is concerned, we would need to be "officially married" in order for both our salaries to be counted towards the loan. The problem is that our wedding is not until next summer, and we're afraid the home won't remain on the market for an entire year.

Meghan and I are both interested in doing a "paper wedding" so we can receive the VA Loan full amount. She however is afraid that if we get a certificate with a date of say, today/tomorrow, than the Catholic Church she wants to get married at is not going to marry us. I do know on the paperwork that we received from the Church said to obtain a marriage license no more than 60 days of the ceremony date (in this case Aug 15, 2014).

We are looking to obtain a marriage certificate/license in say another state, use it for the VA purposes, and then closer to wedding next year, obtain a NY license. Is this a feasible course of action? Is it legal to have marriage certificates from multiple states? I would greatly appreciate any advice that you can give.

Submitted: 3 years ago via USmarriagelaws.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 3 years ago.

My name is Lucy and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Once a person is legally married in one state, he is considered legally married in all states. That means that, if you choose to obtain a marriage license to get married in one state, NY will not issue a subsequent marriage license - there's no need, since you would already be considered legally married.

A marriage license will expire, and it's not legal evidence of a marriage, so that couldn't be used to show marriage for the purposes of getting a loan. There would have to be a marriage certificate, completed by the officiant that performed the ceremony.

Spouses can renew their vows at any time by having a renewal or commitment ceremony. No marriage license is required for that ceremony, since it is about the bond between the spouses and doesn't have to do with the legal relationship between the spouses. You may want to consider talking to a priest at your church to see if the would be willing to perform a ceremony even after the two of you are legally married in a civil ceremony. You could also see if your church will do a small, quiet ceremony between the two of you now and a public vow renewal ceremony next year. No one needs to know you're already married but the two of you and the priest.

The reason the church says to get the license no more than 60 days in advance is that the license is only good for 60 days - after that, you have to go back and get a new one (and pay another fee). If people are already married when they have the religious ceremony (which is really not that uncommon), the date of the original marriage shouldn't have any impact.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck, and congratulations!

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