I’ve written before about recording parents’ names on the NOIM, and the fact that parties seem to be able to write anything they want according to the current Guidelines. A new question came up recently though that I think it’s worth discussing here.

Party to the marriage is completing their NOIM and has advised me that:
1) her father is not listed on her birth certificate or any other official/legal documents relating to her identity
2) she knows who her father is, and they are involved in each other’s life
I’m aware we don’t have to check evidence of parents names – so just wanted to double check that I am correct in advising that she should list her father on the NOIM despite him not appearing on her birth certificate (as to write ‘unknown’ would be to knowingly make a false statement on the NOIM)?

According to the current Guidelines she can definitely write him on.

However my personal preference in this case is to leave him off, but to write Not Listed rather than Unknown. She does know who he is, so Unknown is not accurate. However he’s not listed on her birth certificate, and if she was born in the same state she’s getting married in, BDM might compare the two documents and say hey, your dad’s not listed on your birth certificate, so you can’t list him on your marriage certificate.

I really wish parents’ names were being removed from the marriage paperwork so we could avoid all of this, but the latest advice is that they’re back on. Sigh.