YAGHOUBINEJAD v. HAGHIGHI
384 N.J. Super. 339 (A.D. 2006)

FACTS
The parties were married in an Islamic ceremony on June 30, 2001, and executed an Islamic Marriage Contract. They executed the document before two witnesses and the religious cleric that solemnized the marriage. The parties never obtained a Marriage License from the State of New Jersey. Four years later, the wife files for divorce. The husband objected, claiming they were never legally married. The Trial Court held that the marriage was valid and granted the wife a divorce, as the surrounding circumstances of the marriage ceremony cured any defect in the marriage.

ISSUE
Whether a couple that gets married in a religious ceremony is legally married where neither party obtains a Marriage Certificate from the state.

RULING
On appeal, the Appellate Court reversed, holding that the parties were never legally married because under New Jersey Law, it is an absolute requirement that the parties obtain a Marriage License in order to validate their marriage.

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