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In re Marriage of Winegard

Supreme Court of Iowa
257 N.W.2d 609 (Iowa 1977)


After a multi-year, on-again, off-again relationship, John Winegard (defendant) and Sally Ann Winegard (plaintiff) traveled for the second time to Las Vegas, Nevada, to be married. John called off the nuptials before the ceremony occurred. On their return flight to Iowa, John asked Sally if she still wanted to get married. Sally indicated that she did. John then placed a ring on Sally’s hand and said that they were now married. When they arrived home, Sally informed her family and friends that she and John were now married. Several months later, Sally learned that John had been having an affair. Sally filed for divorce. At trial, John testified that he had given Sally the wedding band as a gift, but denied that there had been any agreement to marry. Sally testified that she and John had received wedding gifts, attended gatherings as husband and wife, cohabitated, and sent and received mail addressed to John and Sally as husband and wife. The trial court held that a common-law marriage existed between John and Sally. John appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Mason, J.)

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