Dear GetFit1129:

Greetings. As far as I know, records are not checked prior to marriage. People are expected to be honest on their applications. Now, I don’t know for sure whether or not there are any records that are checked, but when a divorce is granted, we must file a notice with the vital statistics office, so I am sure that they have the information.

Typically someone must bring bigamy to the attention of the legal system…as it is something that the legal system is not likely to catch on its own. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


When a person is marrying for the second time, how are records checked to determine if the person was previously married and is now legally divorced?

Is this information checked before a marriage license is issued to the party? Is this information checked after the marriage license is taken to the Clerk of Court to legalize the marriage?

If a person was married in another state and comes to North Carolina and marries another person without being legally divorced, how is this caught by our legal system?