The Surrogate Judge of Kings County, Diana Johnson, recently held a hearing related to the probate of a decedent’s estate. She was presented with the issue of whether the decedent and the objectant, Avrumson, were legally married. The marriage took place before Rabbi Dembitzer at the Rabbi’s residence. However, there was no marriage license. The court held thelack of a license did not render a marriage, which was performed by an individual authorized to solemnize marriages, void.
A marriage certificate was entered into evidence. No evidence was presented that the signatures on the marriage certificate were forged. The court found there is a presumption of the validity of the marriage.
Rabbi Dembitzer testified he recognized the handwriting on the Ketubah, a Jewish marriage document. He also testified he would not perform a wedding if there was no Ketubah. He testified a Ketubah is required pursuant to Jewish law and would not participate in a marriage ceremony without one. The court found the decedent and the objectant were legally married and the objectant had the status of being the surviving spouse for inheritance purposes.