TN 29 (05-01)
GN 00305.150 Restriction on Remarriage
A. Policy — restriction on remarriage
1. Remarriage Within State of Divorce
Most of the States which impose restrictions upon remarriage following a divorce that finally dissolves the prior marriage hold void a remarriage entered into within the State in violation of the restriction.
2. Remarriage Outside State of Divorce
The general rule is that if a divorce has effectively dissolved the marriage, a restriction against remarriage has no extraterritorial effect. Therefore, if a party under a restriction enters into a marriage in another State, the courts of other States usually hold the marriage valid. This is based on the general rule that in considering the validity of a marriage, the courts of all States look to the law of the jurisdiction where it was entered into.
3. When to Assume No Restriction Was Imposed
a. Restrictions Imposed by Court or Jury
If the divorce was obtained in a State in which the court or jury could impose special restrictions, assume that no restriction was imposed on a person who has remarried unless there is an indication to the contrary.
b. Restrictions Imposed on Defendant on a Particular Ground
If the divorce was obtained in a State which could impose a restriction only on the defendant and then only if the divorce was granted on a particular ground, get a statement from the person in question or indicate on an RC whether he/she was the plaintiff or defendant in the action and whether the divorce was granted on that ground unless the information is already documented in the file.
If the claimant was the plaintiff, no further evidence is required unless there is reason to doubt the person's statement; if there is reason to doubt, get documentary evidence.
If the claimant was the defendant, see GN 00305.150B.
B. Procedure — restriction on remarriage
Find out the dates of the divorce and the remarriage.
If a restriction was imposed only on the defendant and only on a particular ground and if the person in question was subject to the restriction, find out whether the restriction was violated.
Even if evidence indicates a possible restriction on remarriage, do not develop the reason for the divorce where the State law renders a subsequent marriage, in violation of any restriction, merely voidable (GN 00305.130).
Document on an RC the information described in GN 00305.150B.1. However, if doubt exists, get supporting evidence.
C. Reference — restriction on remarriage
See GN 00305.165 for a summary of State laws.