Steve & Mia: Make sure the dotted line is signed on that marriage license

Posted: May 10, 2013

Q: My husband and I got married two years ago. I thought we did everything right. We went to the courthouse and got a license. After the ceremony, the rabbi gave me the pink copy of the license. He also told me that he was going to file his copy at the courthouse in the next few days.

Well, time slips away and this piece of paper did not seem important. In the process of buying a house recently, the bank asked for a copy of our marriage license. I went online to the department of vital statics to order one, and it seems there is no record of our marriage.

I still have the pink copy. Can I file it now? Are we actually married? Do we have to get married again?

Steve: If you do, make sure it's to the same fellow, otherwise you're a bigamist. A nice guy named Guy at the Philadelphia marriage license bureau tells me that once you and your husband showed proof of identification, purchased your license and were married by the rabbi, you became officially married in the eyes of the law (and God, too!). This holds true even if the rabbi forgot to send in his paperwork or if someone misplaced it.

Mia: Humph. If I were you, I'd double-check with a lawyer to be on the safe side. You don't want any "Surprise, we're not legally married" problems to pop up years from now. Good luck, girl!

Q: Your letter about the man at the high-school reunion who made a pass at his old girlfriend reminded me that when I was in high school we had a saying, "Boys go as far as they can and never backward." Over the years, I've been amazed to see how many men assume that if they've had sex with a woman once (at another time, in another situation, in virtually another life), they have some sort of "right" to expect she'll do it again. I don't understand it.

Steve: Hey, Columbus took a chance, right? But, yeah, too many guys act before they think when it comes to this stuff.

Mia: It's wishful thinking. And some silly women play into this foolishness by thinking that once they've had sex with a guy, they have to keep it up or he'll lose interest. Sometimes, just the opposite is true.


Steve is a 50-something married man who's been around the block. Mia is a younger, recently married woman with an all-together different attitude. They may not agree, but they have plenty of answers. Contact them at S&M@phillynews.com or S&M c/o Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

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