Can You Get Divorced If You Never Got Married?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Can you get divorced if you never married? In this case, the Minnesota Court of Appeals says “Yes.”

The court ruled that Choa Yang Xiong of Maplewood was entitled to the rights of other divorcing spouses because she apparently thought she was legally married to Su Xiong for the 18 years they lived together.

They had gotten a marriage license but not a certificate.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports

Even though this case is unique, it’s a lesson for other couples — the lesson is that marriage has two sides.

“One is getting into it and all the privileges and benefits but marriage also has the other side,” said William Mitchell professor Eileen Scallen, who specializes in domestic partnership law.

“We don’t think of divorce as a benefit but it really is,” she said.

Scallen said it’s something couples should think about at the beginning of relationships.

In the Xiong’s divorce case, issues such as child custody and division of property were put on hold, pending the appellate court ruling.


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