Marriage Laws in California

Marriage Laws in California: Welcome to the Department of Public Health website for the State of California. You can find general details on the conditions for the issuing and registration of both public and private marriage licences in California on this website. It also provides answers to many frequently asked questions about the laws governing marriage licences and ceremonies in California.

Please get in touch with the County Clerk or Recorder’s Office in the county where you intend to apply for a marriage licence if you need more details.

California Marriage Law: Essential Conditions:- (Marriage Laws in California)

After Proposition 8, which prohibited same-sex marriage, was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, gay couples in California were permitted to get married. According to California marriage law, both parties must be capable, of legal age (18 or older without parental consent), and willing to enter into a marriage. See Marriage Requirements Basics: for more general details. Age, capacity, and consent.

Both parties must willingly enter the marriage and not be coerced in any way for there to be consent. Furthermore, they must be certain about the nature of the relationship. Consent exists as long as both of these requirements are satisfied.

A person must be of “sound” mind and able to comprehend and appreciate the nature of their marriage in order to have capacity. Any type of mental condition does not preclude a person from marrying notwithstanding this criterion.

It is thought that the person is of “sound” mind if they can comprehend their responsibilities to the spouse they are getting married to. Additionally, being physically unable of consummating the marriage does not preclude someone from having capacity.

California Marriage Licence Requirements Regarding Marital Law:

The two parties must not already be legally wed to one another or to another person in order to get married in California.

  • A legitimate ID (such as a driver’s licence, military ID, passport, or green card) must be presented by both parties.
  • Without parental permission: 18 years old.
  • Marriage of the same sex: Yes.
  • Waiting Time: N/A
  • Blood tests are not necessary.
  • Residence is not necessary.
  • 90-day licence validity.
  • Witnesses: A public marriage licence must have the signature of one witness, and if more are needed, a spot is provided for them. The public marriage licence may have no more than two witnesses sign it. There can be only one signature per line. On the secret marriage licence, no witnesses may sign.
  • According to CA Marriage Licence laws, there is a county-specific licence fee that must be paid at the time of application.
  • Who Hands Out Licences? In the State of California, marriage licences are issued by the County Clerk’s office.

Laws related to Marriage in California:-

§ 400 People Who May Solemnize Marriages:-

A priest, minister, rabbi, or other authorised person of any religious denomination who is 18 years of age or older may solemnise a marriage even though it is a personal relationship born out of a civil, not a religious, contract.

A person who has been granted authority under this paragraph is not obligated to perform marriages that go against their religious beliefs.

Any entity’s tax-exempt status is unaffected by a person or religious organisation refusing to solemnise a marriage as required by this subdivision. (b)A marriage may also be solemnised by any of the following people in accordance with Penal Code Section 94.5 and provided that any compensation paid is reasonable, including payment of actual expenses:

  • (1) A judge, judge-elect, commissioner for civil marriages, retired commissioner for civil marriages, assistant commissioner for a court of record in this state.
  • (2) A magistrate or judge who has resigned from their position.
  • (3) Any of the American magistrates or judges listed below: (A) A justice of the US Supreme Court, active or retired.

§ 301 Marriage Validity:-

Two unmarried individuals who are at least 18 years old and are not otherwise excluded are capable of consenting to and completing a marriage.

The court must complete the following procedures when deciding whether to give permission to marry under Section 302 or 303:

  • (1) Demand that the parties to a marriage and, if necessary, at least one of each party’s parents or legal guardian for each party who is a minor be interviewed separately by Family Court Services. If more than one parent or guardian is being questioned, each parent or guardian must undergo a separate interview.
  • (2) Demand that Family Court Services create and submit to the court a written report that details any evaluation of potential force, threat, influence, fraud, coercion, or duress by either of the parties or their family members in relation to the intended marriage. The report must also include Family Court Services’ suggestions for whether to approve or reject the parties’ request to get married. Family Court Services must notify the county child protective services agency of any known or suspected child abuse or neglect if Family Court Services has grounds to believe that either party is a victim of such crimes.

Special Guidelines

Marriages that are lawfully consummated in other states or other countries are recognised in the State of California as long as they would also be valid there. For instance, if a couple moved to California, their legally legitimate and recognised Massachusetts marriage would still be recognised there.

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