Wedding 911

Need some advice...

Hi all. So I have recently been put into a terrible situation and just looking for some opinions about a possible solution. I have been engaged for 2 years this month and have been planning a wedding for just as long. My fiance is in the process of trying to get divorced but things are taking forever because we don't know where his ex is anymore. A month ago we got news that my uncle, who raised me, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a few months to live. It would break my heart if he was not there for my wedding and I don't even think that I would want to do it after he is gone. I'm thinking about just having a commitment ceremony to take the place of the wedding. This way my uncle can still be involved in the "wedding" and that would just take the place of the real wedding. Then when the divorce is finally finalized we would just go to the courthouse ourselves and make it legal. I have read other forums that say that it is unacceptable and rude to invite people to a "wedding that isn't a real wedding", but it's looking like the only option I have at this point. Advice? Ideas? Any would be appreciated.

Re: Need some advice...

  • Hi all. So I have recently been put into a terrible situation and just looking for some opinions about a possible solution. I have been engaged for 2 years this month and have been planning a wedding for just as long. My fiance is in the process of trying to get divorced but things are taking forever because we don't know where his ex is anymore. A month ago we got news that my uncle, who raised me, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a few months to live. It would break my heart if he was not there for my wedding and I don't even think that I would want to do it after he is gone. I'm thinking about just having a commitment ceremony to take the place of the wedding. This way my uncle can still be involved in the "wedding" and that would just take the place of the real wedding. Then when the divorce is finally finalized we would just go to the courthouse ourselves and make it legal. I have read other forums that say that it is unacceptable and rude to invite people to a "wedding that isn't a real wedding", but it's looking like the only option I have at this point. Advice? Ideas? Any would be appreciated.


    Eh... I think etiquette goes, you probably shouldn't get married to someone who is still married to someone else, even if your wedding isn't legal.    I get that your fiance is trying to get divorced, but he isn't divorced yet.  

    You could do a committment ceremony, but I don't recommend it.   If you proceed, you should make it very clear that it's not a wedding. It's a committment ceremony.

  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    Just a side note, depending on where you live, you could be entering into a common law marriage by having a commitment ceremony and then he could be charged with bigamy.
    PrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    edited August 2014
    Honestly, I would wait. I don't understand going through the motions of a wedding when it's not real, dying family member or not. Nor do I understand being engaged to a person who is married, but that's not up to me. 

    FWIW, my mother was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer and she too only has a short time left. We scrapped our original plans and slapped a wedding together in less than two weeks. I do not think I would have done this had my H or I been married to another person. 

    ETA: How does your uncle feel? Is it super important to him to be at your wedding, whether legal or not?

    ETA#2: I'm so sorry for you and your uncle. It's going to be a difficult time and I wish both of you peace and good times together while you can. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    PrettyGirlLostjules3964doeydoweddingcactus
  • I am sorry for your pain. However, I would also advise against this. As a guest, I would find it to be very uncomfortable to be a guest at a ceremony where one of the individuals is married.

    Two years is a long time to work on getting a divorce. I am going to assume that you have sought legal counsel on that matter, and know the options related to finalizing the divorce. Is there a time frame they've provided to get this resolved?
    imageimageimage

    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • He can still divorce her. Place an ad in a local newspaper trough the civil court with the court date she will obviously won't show up. The judge will ask him to swear if he has exhausted every resource trying to find her. He will say yes. And then he will be a divorced man. It takes 2-3 months. Hope this helps at least a little. I'm sorry about your uncle.
    There's a little more to it than this. It varies by state, but he will have to write an affidavit that he exhausted all efforts to find her. Efforts include, speaking to friends and relatives, paying for searches, etc.. but an attorney should have told them this over the past few years.
    imageimageimage

    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
  • Ditto everyone else on the etiquette and uncomfortableness of this plan. I'd also be getting very upset if my FI wasn't pursuing all options to get divorced since it seems presence of one spouse isn't required. My condolences for your uncle. I hope you and him enjoy whatever time you have left.
    image
    PrettyGirlLostdoeydo
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer



    He can still divorce her. Place an ad in a local newspaper trough the civil court with the court date she will obviously won't show up. The judge will ask him to swear if he has exhausted every resource trying to find her. He will say yes. And then he will be a divorced man. It takes 2-3 months. Hope this helps at least a little. I'm sorry about your uncle.

    There's a little more to it than this. It varies by state, but he will have to write an affidavit that he exhausted all efforts to find her. Efforts include, speaking to friends and relatives, paying for searches, etc.. but an attorney should have told them this over the past few years.


    I would think his attorney would have told him this like 2 or more years ago.
    PrettyGirlLostdoeydo
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited August 2014
    Hi all. So I have recently been put into a terrible situation and just looking for some opinions about a possible solution. I have been engaged for 2 years this month and have been planning a wedding for just as long. My fiance is in the process of trying to get divorced but things are taking forever because we don't know where his ex is anymore. A month ago we got news that my uncle, who raised me, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a few months to live. It would break my heart if he was not there for my wedding and I don't even think that I would want to do it after he is gone. I'm thinking about just having a commitment ceremony to take the place of the wedding. This way my uncle can still be involved in the "wedding" and that would just take the place of the real wedding. Then when the divorce is finally finalized we would just go to the courthouse ourselves and make it legal. I have read other forums that say that it is unacceptable and rude to invite people to a "wedding that isn't a real wedding", but it's looking like the only option I have at this point. Advice? Ideas? Any would be appreciated.
    I am so sorry that you are in such a difficult situation.
    You are not engaged.  You cannot be engaged to someone who is not legally free to marry you.
    She is his legal wife, not his ex-wife.
    I am sure that in time you will be able to sort out the legal aspects of your future.  When he is legally divorced, you can become engaged immediately, and married the same day, if you wish.  Until then, you should not make wedding plans.
    I am sorry to hear about your uncle, but having a fake wedding isn't the right thing to do.
    Have you tried hiring a private investigator to track down the wife?  There are people who specialize in this.  Good luck.  I hope it all works out for you.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    jules3964
  • atlastmrsgatlastmrsg member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2014
    Just a side note, depending on where you live, you could be entering into a common law marriage by having a commitment ceremony and then he could be charged with bigamy.
    ^This isn't great advice.

    Being married is considered an "impediment" to marrying, or a "disability."  When you have an impediment/disability, you cannot be considered married by common law/de facto marriage or by real marriage.

    Also, common law marriages are barely observed anymore, and take a lot of effort (living together a long time, calling each other spouses, filing joint tax return, holding out to those in the community that you're married)...things like this.  Just because they have a commitment ceremony or shack up doesn't make these things met. 

    If you have any questions about whether you're in a common law jurisdiction, call a family law practitioner.  Many offer 30 minute consultations for free.  You can also talk about documents you should have done--wills, power of attorneys, etc. and get up to date.

    Disclaimer: I'm not your attorney. This is informational. Always call an attorney if you want to make important decisions and need advice specific to your state.
  • atlastmrsgatlastmrsg member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2014
    He can still divorce her. Place an ad in a local newspaper trough the civil court with the court date she will obviously won't show up. The judge will ask him to swear if he has exhausted every resource trying to find her. He will say yes. And then he will be a divorced man. It takes 2-3 months. Hope this helps at least a little. I'm sorry about your uncle.
    There's a little more to it than this. It varies by state, but he will have to write an affidavit that he exhausted all efforts to find her. Efforts include, speaking to friends and relatives, paying for searches, etc.. but an attorney should have told them this over the past few years.
    I would think his attorney would have told him this like 2 or more years ago.

    ^This is much better advice.  Depending on where you live, you should see if he's talked about whether the state does warning order attorneys.  You file a motion for a warning order attorney to be appointed.  This person searches for the spouse and files a report.  If the attorney truly can't find her, the divorce may be able to be granted, but generally things like custody and property disposition are put on hold.  Once the person is located, then those things are hashed out later. 

    Warning order attorneys aren't absurdly expensive, but they do require payment.  Make sure he's not trying to cheap out.  But, have a discussion that's based on being informative, not accusatory, because I only know about warning order attorneys in two states.  Two states does not make the entire country.

    Disclaimer: I'm not your attorney. This is informational. Always call an attorney if you want to make important decisions and need advice specific to your state.

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I'm sorry about your uncle. But I really don't think you should go ahead with the commitment ceremony. Wait until he's legally divorced and then get married. 

  • atlastmrsgatlastmrsg member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited August 2014
    CMGragain said:
    Hi all. So I have recently been put into a terrible situation and just looking for some opinions about a possible solution. I have been engaged for 2 years this month and have been planning a wedding for just as long. My fiance is in the process of trying to get divorced but things are taking forever because we don't know where his ex is anymore. A month ago we got news that my uncle, who raised me, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a few months to live. It would break my heart if he was not there for my wedding and I don't even think that I would want to do it after he is gone. I'm thinking about just having a commitment ceremony to take the place of the wedding. This way my uncle can still be involved in the "wedding" and that would just take the place of the real wedding. Then when the divorce is finally finalized we would just go to the courthouse ourselves and make it legal. I have read other forums that say that it is unacceptable and rude to invite people to a "wedding that isn't a real wedding", but it's looking like the only option I have at this point. Advice? Ideas? Any would be appreciated.
    I am so sorry that you are in such a difficult situation.
    You are not engaged.  You cannot be engaged to someone who is not legally free to marry you.
    She is his legal wife, not his ex-wife.
    I am sure that in time you will be able to sort out the legal aspects of your future.  When he is legally divorced, you can become engaged immediately, and married the same day, if you wish.  Until then, you should not make wedding plans.

    I am sorry to hear about your uncle, but having a fake wedding isn't the right thing to do.
    Have you tried hiring a private investigator to track down the wife?  There are people who specialize in this.  Good luck.  I hope it all works out for you.
    ^ And again, not true.  Engagements aren't the legally binding part, the marriage is.  An engagement is just a promise to another person.  Courts don't get involved in this kind of thing much, some jurisdictions will take a case about who gets the ring back when a marriage doesn't work out though.  If you have concerns about it not working out, and aren't sure if you can keep the ring, talk to a family attorney in your area.

    You can be "engaged" to anyone/anything--heck, you can propose to your cat if you want.  You just can't marry an object, pet, married person, etc.  That's where the legally binding part comes in.

    Whether it's good taste or moral to be engaged to a married person is another story.  I personally do not think so, and I would not attend a commitment ceremony between a married person and a friend/family member/etc.  I would definitely not send a present with my decline RSVP and it would probably be a fun girls' night out to debate with friends.  

    "Did you go to so and so's commitment ceremony?" 

     "No, that's tacky."  

    "Ooooh, yeah, did you know he's married and has been stringing her along for two years?"  

    "What, I didn't know that!  I can't believe I bought them a present when they may never get married anyway!?"

    Disclaimer: I'm not your attorney. This is informational. Always call an attorney if you want to make important decisions and need advice specific to your state.

    mrsbrueske3[Deleted User]
  • Hi all. So I have recently been put into a terrible situation and just looking for some opinions about a possible solution. I have been engaged for 2 years this month and have been planning a wedding for just as long. My fiance is in the process of trying to get divorced but things are taking forever because we don't know where his ex is anymore. A month ago we got news that my uncle, who raised me, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a few months to live. It would break my heart if he was not there for my wedding and I don't even think that I would want to do it after he is gone. I'm thinking about just having a commitment ceremony to take the place of the wedding. This way my uncle can still be involved in the "wedding" and that would just take the place of the real wedding. Then when the divorce is finally finalized we would just go to the courthouse ourselves and make it legal. I have read other forums that say that it is unacceptable and rude to invite people to a "wedding that isn't a real wedding", but it's looking like the only option I have at this point. Advice? Ideas? Any would be appreciated.
    Maybe I watch too much ID TV and read too many true crime novels, but when I read things like this the 1st thing I think is that the wife is dead and her husband had something to do with it. . . because in 90+ percent of cases the BF/GF/Spouse is the perp.

    Also, I am always suspicious of these stories where a person is "engaged" to a married man who is "in the process" of getting divorced.  I have read quite a few cases where the man was actually living a double or even triple life and seeing/married to multiple women at a time without them knowing it.

    My mind doesn't jump at all to "the perp" thing at all (maybe I haven't watched much TV lately...) but definitely the second.  I have trouble trusting someone who can be married but already have moved on to an engagement with someone else, regardless of whether he's seen his spouse recently or not.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Hi all. So I have recently been put into a terrible situation and just looking for some opinions about a possible solution. I have been engaged for 2 years this month and have been planning a wedding for just as long. My fiance is in the process of trying to get divorced but things are taking forever because we don't know where his ex is anymore. A month ago we got news that my uncle, who raised me, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a few months to live. It would break my heart if he was not there for my wedding and I don't even think that I would want to do it after he is gone. I'm thinking about just having a commitment ceremony to take the place of the wedding. This way my uncle can still be involved in the "wedding" and that would just take the place of the real wedding. Then when the divorce is finally finalized we would just go to the courthouse ourselves and make it legal. I have read other forums that say that it is unacceptable and rude to invite people to a "wedding that isn't a real wedding", but it's looking like the only option I have at this point. Advice? Ideas? Any would be appreciated.
    Maybe I watch too much ID TV and read too many true crime novels, but when I read things like this the 1st thing I think is that the wife is dead and her husband had something to do with it. . . because in 90+ percent of cases the BF/GF/Spouse is the perp.

    Also, I am always suspicious of these stories where a person is "engaged" to a married man who is "in the process" of getting divorced.  I have read quite a few cases where the man was actually living a double or even triple life and seeing/married to multiple women at a time without them knowing it.
    Yes. My first thought was "Where's the body?"


    imageimageimage

    You'll never be subject to a cash bar, gap, potluck wedding, or b-list if you marry a Muppet Overlord.
    LondonLisabeetheryPrettyGirlLost
  • This is setting off lots of alarms in my head as well. I would think that a man who is anxious to marry again would be aggressively focused on getting divorced. The fact that you have been engaged for 2 years and he has still not made progress makes me wonder what else is going on. I also wonder how long you were together before he began pursuing a divorce- how long as this process been going on.

    Focus on your uncle right now. Wedding planning should be off the table until your fiance is divorced.

    Nailed it.
    PrettyGirlLostjules3964CMGragain
  • Ugh, that is so frustrating that you can't find her.  Is there a provision in your state/province (wherever) that allows for a absent or contested divorce?  I've heard of it being done when someone leaves or goes missing.  Good luck! 
  • edited September 2014
    Hi all. So I have recently been put into a terrible situation and just looking for some opinions about a possible solution. I have been engaged for 2 years this month and have been planning a wedding for just as long. My fiance is in the process of trying to get divorced but things are taking forever because we don't know where his ex is anymore. A month ago we got news that my uncle, who raised me, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given only a few months to live. It would break my heart if he was not there for my wedding and I don't even think that I would want to do it after he is gone. I'm thinking about just having a commitment ceremony to take the place of the wedding. This way my uncle can still be involved in the "wedding" and that would just take the place of the real wedding. Then when the divorce is finally finalized we would just go to the courthouse ourselves and make it legal. I have read other forums that say that it is unacceptable and rude to invite people to a "wedding that isn't a real wedding", but it's looking like the only option I have at this point. Advice? Ideas? Any would be appreciated.

    To the bolded, if you don't want to marry your fiancé after your uncle has passed, you perhaps should skip the idea altogether.  You only want to marry him if your uncle can see? If not, then whatever?  That's worrisome. You marrying this guy shouldn't have anything to do with your uncle or anybody else beside you and your man.  I say this with kindness.

    ETA: I seriously doubt this guy has really tried everything within his power to get divorced.  It just seems like there would be some reasonable solution if he had made it (read: YOU) a priority, regardless of whether his wife is a ghost or a corpse.

    Kaurisweddingcactus
  • Hey, I was wondering if you had made any decisions or if anything had come up?


    I don't know what the law is like where you live, but living in Virginia I can give you a little bit of information about what happened to my fiance before we started dating (we have been best friends for years)

    So his first wife didn't work out. She was crazy, abusive, controlling, but he went through the wedding anyways because he thought it was just cold feet and nerves and that she was a bridezilla. So cue after the honeymoon, she's still a b**** and is trying to take him for all he is worth, demands to be a stay at home nothing (no kids), tries to get fired from her job and is generally a miserable person. So 2 weeks after the wedding they start to live separately. Cue a month or two down the line, and he has a family friend who is a lawyer who agrees to be his divorce lawyer.

    For virginia he had to be separated for 6 months (no children or combined property), and both parties had to sign documentation that they were not going to reconcile or were expecting children, and both parties were not going after anything the other owned (So in this case, at least with virginia he was told that because they were not married long enough, she was not entitled to anything he owned or had in the bank.) Well she moved about a month after the rental property they had lived in was given back to the landlord, and of course she did not give him the address.

    So his option was to find a way to contact her or her family to get her to sign the paperwork, or to have a notice put out in the paper saying that she needed to meet for a court date, and if she didn't show up, then his lawyer would be able to start the process of no show and work on that paperwork, as  you only need 1 person to want the divorce (she can't just disappear and kind him bound). 

    In the end he ended up emailing her and basically saying "I don't want contact with you, I need your address for the paperwork if you don't want to give me your address to give to the lawyer, then this is the email address of the lawyer you need to send your information to. This email does not give you the right to email me back anything but your current living address, and any harassment can be brought up with the court during the divorce process against you, and for records sake you should know that you should get your own divorce attorney to look over the papers with you, and my lawyer is only representing me in this. You can get your own lawyer and have them contact my lawyer if you want added separation in these matters"

    So after he sent that, she responded with her address. Then it was just a long 4 months at this point until the paper work was submitted. (So you have to swear you have not lived together for 6 months. After that, the paper work that should already have been created will be mailed from the lawyers office to the court. So your looking at another month on top of that for the court to get it, a judge to look over the paper work, and then approve it or deny it.)



    I do agree with what others have said before, even if they have not put it in the nicest way. Knowing someone who has gone through the process and knowing what paperwork needs to be done, it seems very odd that they haven't been divorced yet. It sounds like they had plenty of time even if they had children or property to hash out.

    This may be that your fiance doesn't want to do the work (cause it can be frustrating) or it could be a cost issue (divorce lawyer fees can add up, especially if you have questions during the process or have additional things they need to add in.) BUT he can legally get divorced if she is a no show to all proceedings to say her case, the lawyer just has to get that all started.

    Wishing you luck!

  • I am one who gets a little irritated at all the "dos and don'ts" sometimes.  At the end of the day, it's your wedding and if it feels right in your gut then who's to tell you otherwise?  If it were me, I would do everything I could to try to get that divorce for him ASAP.  If that proves impossible and it's a huge deal to you, then go ahead and have your wedding.  I see no reason to even make a huge deal out of it not being your legal ceremony.  Unless someone asks, why mention it.  It's none of their business.  I would double check that you aren't doing anything wrong legally but beyond that it's your relationship and his, no one elses.
  • ^ God Awful advice. 
    esstee33levioosamikenbergerwrigleyville
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    allysia02 said:
    ^ God Awful advice. 
    She's been running rampant all over the board with terrible advice.  


    image
    mikenberger
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited November 2014
    I'm very sorry about your uncle's illness.

    The marital status of your FI notwithstanding, a "commitment ceremony" does not constitute a commitment that is legally or in any other way enforceable so I wouldn't go for it.

    Right now I'd devote whatever attention you can to your uncle but I'd accept the possibility that it might not include a wedding.
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