Question: I live here in Georgia, in Forsyth County, but I think I got married in Las Vegas by mistake two weeks ago. I was in Vegas on a business trip to a tech convention. I was with a coworker who I used to date in college at Georgia State University when we both went there about 7 years ago.
After the convention we went out with a group of people and we were drinking heavily. I mean we must have hit 10 different bars and did many shots and drank many beers. We just walked along the strip and went to a bunch of places.
So we were really drunk and it was really late and we wound up at a chapel and I thought it was just a joke, just a goof, but we did some ceremony. I thought it was a joke marriage ceremony because the pastor, or whatever he was, was some kind of Elvis Presley impersonator. Now my ex-girlfriend says we're married and she said we should live together. And she's talking about having children and buying a house.
Here's the thing, I'm actually engaged to someone else and we're seriously thinking of getting married next year. I've told my parents about the engagement and she's told hers. On the weekends we've been listening to different bands for our wedding.
So I'm pretty freaked out because I think I may have mistakenly married a former girlfriend and I think my fiancé, the person I really want to marry, is going to break up with me because I was so dumb that I got super drunk and married someone else in Las Vegas.
I really need to know what to do. I hope I'm not married, but I'm scared I might be. I know this sounds crazy, but I don't want to be “that guy” who screws up and by accident gets married in Las Vegas to an ex-girlfriend who I think is bipolar. I want to marry my fiancé who seems normal next year.
What should I do? Do I need to get a divorce? If I do, I hope it will be an uncontested divorce.
C.R. in Sandy Springs, Georgia
Answer: Thank you for your very interesting question. As local divorce lawyers, we have actually handled several cases in which Georgia residents were “mistakenly” married in Las Vegas.
To determine if you were legally married, we'd first ask if you purchased and signed a valid Nevada marriage license. If you didn't get a marriage license, then you were not legally married. So you need to determine if you received a marriage license.
Typically, a couple in Las Vegas will purchase a marriage license, have a wedding ceremony, and then have the person who performed the ceremony (sometimes an Elvis Presley impersonator, a Liberace impersonator, a Princess Bride Priest impersonator, a Dracula impersonator, etc.) file a wedding certificate with the appropriate county office. The wedding certificate proves you are married.
If you did get legally married then to end the marriage you would need to get divorced, which you can do here in Georgia.