If a purported marriage is invalid and there are no children born or to be born, the general rule is that there can be no action for divorce or alimony by either party. Likewise, where there is a void marriage, Georgia law does not require the payment of alimony unless related to the protection of the children of the marriage. Wright v. Hall 292 Ga. 457 2013. This is true even though the purported marriage is of long duration and is initiated in good faith and even if the parties have no knowledge of the impediment. In fact, if a final decree of divorce has been entered with respect to an invalid marriage, the decree may be set aside as void. Any property settlement contract with consideration founded on the invalid marriage may be set aside by the party not having knowledge of the invalidity. Where a divorce decree provides for periodic alimony until the remarriage of a spouse, that spouses later ceremonial marriage will stop the alimony payments from the first spouse, even though the second marriage is void because the second spouse has a living spouse. The rationale for this result is that the attempted ceremonial marriage could ripen into a valid marriage upon removal of the impediment. A will which is not made in contemplation of marriage or the birth or adoption of a child is automatically revoked upon the happening of such event. However, if the marriage not contemplated is invalid, the will is not automatically revoked. However, the birth of a child as the issue of a purported but invalid marriage could, under the reasoning of the Wallace case, validate the marriage and thereby revoke the will. Obviously, the validity of a marriage will determine the rights of inheritance by a party claiming to be an heir at law as a surviving spouse, the right to year’s support as a surviving spouse, or the right of an alleged spouse to serve as administrator. Here again, the children of an invalid marriage would be legitimate for purposes of inheritance and right to year’s support. A child born out of wedlock may inherit from or through the child’s father, the other children of the father, or any paternal kin by reason of the paternal kinship if 1) by Court order the child is declared legitimate 2) paternity has been established by court order 3) a sworn statement by the father attests to the parent-child relationship 4) the child’s birth certificate has been signed by the father or 5) the presumption of paternity has been established by genetic testing and not rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. Contact a Paulding county family law lawyer to handle your divorce or legitimization case.