BALTIMORE (AP) — A Maryland court says a man who said his wedding vows over the phone and skipped the ceremony in the Democratic Republic of Congo is still married and will be responsible for alimony and child support payments.

Noel Tshiani was a World Bank employee and working in another African country when he married his bride in 1993. Court records say his cousin stood in his place for the ceremony, but Tshiani answered questions and the families exchanged money, clothes and a goat.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the state’s second highest court, said the ceremony may have been unusual, but is a valid marriage like any other under state law. As a result, the court upheld nearly $6,000 a month in alimony, child support and other financial payments.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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