The marriage laws that govern putative marriages vary from state to state. However, the general guidelines of putative marriage law remain the same. There are three well known conditions that must exist within a marriage for putative marriage laws to apply. One of these marriage laws is that at least one of the individuals in the marriage must have been unaware of the existence of the technicality that negates the marriage’s validity.
If both parties in the marriage knew that it was technically not legal, than they are both at fault and neither is entitled to anything from the other. That type of marriage is not considered putative, as marriage law clearly states that at least one individual in the marriage must be completely unaware that the technicality existed for that marriage to fall into the putative category.
In a continuance of the first marriage law governing putative marriage, the ignorant individual must have been ignorant of the technicality at the time of the marriage as well as for the duration of it. This regulation is based on the idea that any spouse who finds out that his or her partner is purposely lying to him or her and misrepresenting a marriage should leave the deceitful partner.
The second marriage law for determining if a marriage is putative is that the marriage must have been officiated by an individual licensed to marry couples in the couple’s state or otherwise capable of performing a legal marriage. If the marriage was not brought about in a legal fashion, then the marriage was never legal in the first place. Theoretically, if the spouses were misled by an officiating party that did not have the right to perform a legally sanctioned individual, then they might be able to receive damages from that party, and might still be granted some form of putative status with regard to one another, up until the point of discovery.
Lastly under marriage laws, the marriage itself must be considered to be a lawful one by the putative spouse or spouses. A lawful marriage is one in which both parties are of legal age and mental capacity to marry.
Any marriage that is entered into legally is governed by marriage laws. Even though a putative marriage is technically not a legal marriage, proof of the three conditions being met is enough to grant typical divorce rights to that of the putative, or fooled, spouse. A putative spouse can sue for alimony and rights to assets under marriage law.