“How can you find out if someone is married?” That question, or some variation of it, is the second-most popular search engine query leading people to Lovefraud.com. (The most popular is “What is a sociopath?”)
Here’s the short answer: You can’t find out if someone is married.
In the United States, there is no central database of marriage and divorce records. As explained on the “Is he married?” page of Lovefraud.com, marriage and divorce records are maintained by the separate states, and some states delegate the responsibility to the separate counties. Each registration authority—whether state or county—sets its own regulations for recording marriages and divorces.
The result is a mishmash of public policy. In Nevada, marriage records are searchable online. In Kansas, marriage records are not public information.
Furthermore, the states and counties do not share information on marriages and divorces. So even if you have someone’s correct name, date of birth and social security number, there is no place where you can search to find out if he or she is married.
The system may have functioned when it was established more than 200 years ago. That was when people were born, lived and died in small communities, and everyone knew each other. But it doesn’t function in today’s mobile society.
Sociopaths and marriage
This fragmentation is ripe for exploitation by sociopaths—and they do it. Remember, the words “I love you,” spoken by a sociopath, actually mean “I want to take from you.” In the mind of a sociopath, an easy way to take from a person is to marry him or her. And when there’s nothing left to take, the sociopath marries another.
Divorce? Maybe, but not necessary.
But, you may protest, marrying someone while already married is bigamy. The sociopath doesn’t care. When a person has no conscience, society’s rules do not apply. The sociopath will do whatever he or she can get away with. And in the United States of America, it’s easy to get away with multiple marriages.
One man, 12 wives
Donna Layne Roberts knows all about this. Her ex-husband, William Barber, left her and eight days later married Joyce Reynolds, sticking Roberts with $400,000 in debt.
Roberts later found out that Barber was a con artist with about 20 aliases and 12 wives.
In October, 2005, Barber received a three-year jail sentence for listing a false name, date of birth and social security number on his marriage license—the one with Joyce Reynolds. Barber spent approximately five months in a minimum security New Jersey prison, where he hung the news stories about his case on the walls of his cell. He was released to a half-way house in March, 2006.
Marriage database petition
Information is the answer. So Donna Layne Roberts has started an online petition to Congress, asking that a law be passed requiring all marriages and divorces to be entered into a national database.
“This will ensure that the prevalent crimes of bigamy, fraud, embezzlement and identity theft will be harder to commit against the people of this country, and the sanctity of both religious and civil unions will be protected.” the petition states.
A national marriage database will go along way towards preventing bigamy, which often leads to heartbreak and financial ruin for the victims.
The database would also make it more difficult for cheating spouses to claim they aren’t married —something anyone who’s been lied to by a married man or woman can appreciate.
Help stop the crimes and the cheating. Lovefraud asks you to sign the petition.