Legality of Marriage/Equitable Distribution

I am unsure how this happened? Did you have a ceremony? How could someone else’s signature be on the license?

North Carolina does not recognize common law marriage (based merely on living together) however, I believe the Court would find that the marriage is valid if you had a ceremony. So in short, no I do not believe the signature aberration makes a difference, nor do the affidavits.

Erin E. Clarey
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

Raleigh Office
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 943.0044

Sutton Station
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 205
Durham, NC 27713
Phone: (919) 321-0780


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Hi, I am approaching the end of a “marriage”, separation, “divorce” and equitable distrubtion process. I am supposedly “divorced” and we have both filed Equitable Distribution Affidavits with the local Court.

Since that time, I obtained a copy of our “Application, License and Certificate of Marriage.” In reviewing the “Signature of Groom”, I noticed, although the name was mine the signature WAS NOT. I am willing to pay a handwriting expert to opine on it.

Nevertheless, we went on to live together for 23 years (married or not).


  1. Does the fact that the signature is NOT mine make a difference?
  2. Does it make a difference in light of the fact that “Equitable Distribution Affidavits” have been filed?

Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated.

Mitch Jones