By | June 4, 2006 3 Comments

Sign the petition for a marriage database

“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 (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, 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.

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Great post, Donna. If we had only had this in place before many of us were so damaged–mentally and financially–by these bigamists socipaths! However, we can protect other innocent victims if a National Marriage Database were in place. Please sign the petition.


This petition would also stop cyberpaths and online players as well as married people who troll bars, pen pal groups, gaming site and so on. Dating sites would be able to check up on marrieds who sign up with fraudlent information (which they already say they do but we all know they don’t.)

Its appalling we don’t have something like this in place in the US. But then, there’s not much of a database for criminals either. Only if you’re a sex offender or pedophile is there a nationwide reference source. So if you’re a victim of one of these con people, you’re out of luck until this gets passed.


We need this National Database to ensure that other victims will not go through the emotional trauma and pain that sociopaths put us through. I was financially destitute and left homeless by my con artist, and he didn’t care. He cruised the Internet to find his next victims, and 8 days after he left me he had a new identity and a new wife. There is no way to check the system as there are 32000 counties in the United States. A person can go from state to state, county to county to get married and there is not a way to check that. Please sign the petition. Help us help save potential victims. Thank you.

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