i am a muslimah in america, my husband is in the process of a divorce to a non-muslim, is our marriage valid if we have no license or certificate, i need to know i dont want to be living in sin or misguided, we have children together.
How did your marriage take place: Was it a nikhah ceremony? Who officiated at that, and what was recited? Was a mehr fixed? Were there Muslim male witnesses?
A document is preferable, because it is a contract, but the nikah is valid without a written document, provided the marriage takes place with Allah's words and with two Muslim male witnesses. I am not sure if the marriage may be kept secret. As far as I know the nikah is to tell the society that this amn and woman are now husband and wife. SO it should be open. However, I can envision circumstances where hostility may preclude such openness.
For your own and your children's protection, it is better to have a marriage document valid in the secular courts.