The wedding ceremony generates a profound spiritual and physical bond between a man and his wife and, socially between two families. It is required by the society to make the marriage union legally binding in the court of law and obtaining legal documents.
If you are planning to get married, or have already scheduled a date, you may find the following checklist tips very useful. However, because the marriage requirements varies from state to state, you can find out what the law of your state says or you may seek advice of a family law attorney.
Legal requirements for getting married
The legal requirements for marriage vary from state to state. Some of these requirements are marriage licenses, blood tests, residency requirements, and much more. You need to ensure that you have fulfilled all your state’s required marriage requirements before your wedding day.
1. Marriage ceremonies
A good number of states have legal requirements about the marriage ceremony itself. This includes- who can perform the wedding ceremony and is there supposed to be a witness in the ceremony. The ceremony can be performed by either a justice of the peace or a minister.
2. Prenuptial agreements
A prenuptial (or “pre-marital”) agreement can assist to specify the property and financial rights and obligations of the people who are about to be spouses. It also includes the rights and obligations that the couples have to adhere to if their marriage relationship ends. If you are planning to enter into a pre-marital agreement, you need to be fully aware of what the law requires to be done to ensure that the agreement is legally considered valid and enforceable.
3. Altering your name after marriage
After marriage, neither spouse is legally bound to take the other spouse’s surname, but a lot of new spouses decide to do so for customary and symbolic reasons. There are a few things you can do to effect the change of name as fast as can.
4. The marriage, money, and property issue
After marriage, your property and finances will, to a specific extent be combined with those of your spouse. You ought to be aware of what is included as marital or “community” property, and know how to keep certain assets as separate property, if you intend to do that. Other financial matters you need to consider before getting married include previous debts and tax considerations.
5. Marriage license
You can obtain your marriage license at the local town or city clerk’s office and occasionally in the county where you plan to get married. Since these requirements vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, you should check the requirement with your local marriage license office, county clerk or family law attorney.
6. Marriage ceremony in a different jurisdiction
All marriages, no matter where the marriage rites are carried out locally or overseas are valid in any state in so far as they are legal in the jurisdiction where it occurred.
7. Waiting time for marriage license
The couple usually needs to wait for a few days to get their marriage license after application. The waiting time normally differ from state to state and may last from one day to one month. A number of states, though, do not need a waiting period at all.
Ask for a few extra certified copies of the original marriage license. You would be required to pay an extra fee to get these and particularly if you wish to effect a change of name, you would require extra fees.
Although marriage is a happy union between two people, it is as well a legal agreement between two people. A family law attorney can help you to review your options and advise you on what you need to do free of charge.