Marriage is one of the most important experiences of a person's life, but like any legal process, it can get complicated. Depending on where you live, there may be laws governing who can get married and how a marriage license can be obtained. Some couples also face the decision of whether or not to have a prenuptial agreement. In this article, we'll look at some of the laws surrounding marriage, including age requirements and marriage licenses. We'll also explore some of the many legal benefits to being married. Finally, we'll take a look at other forms of marriage, such as polygamy, civil unions and domestic partnerships, and find out where they fit in American law and society.
In order to have a legally recognized marriage, a couple has to have a valid marriage license. An application must be filled out in order to get a marriage license, and each state has its own laws regarding who is eligible to receive a license. The legal age to marry varies from state to state; in most states, both parties must be 18 years old in order to marry without their parents' permission. However, in some states, people as young as 12 years old can marry with a parent's permission, though some cases may need the approval of a judge. Some states also require blood tests for sexually transmitted diseases or for the couple to undergo pre-marital counseling.
When applying for a marriage license, the bride and groom must appear together in the marriage license office in their town. Official identification is required; it can be a birth certificate or a drivers license, depending on state law. A nominal fee usually accompanies the application ($60 in Hawaii). The couple fills out an official application and gives it to the marriage license agent. In some states, there's a short waiting period of a few days before the license is issued. Once approved, a marriage license is generally valid for 30 days to a year.
After a couple gets married, a marriage certificate is proof that a marriage has taken place.