What are the various types of marriages and procedures for obtaining a divorce in each type of marriage? What should you do if you have doubts about your marriage? Family law recognizes two categories of marriage: marriage by license and marriage by common law. A marriage with a license requires both a bridal ceremony and the issuance of a license by the county clerk’s office. The state recognizes the couple as legally wedded after the wedding.
Common-law marriages do not require a formal ceremony or documentation; however, the couple must be recognized as spouses by members of their community for the union to be considered legal. For either form of marriage to be valid, there must be an agreement between both parties that they are married, and both parties must have the legal capacity to marry. This means that both parties must have been of legal age to marry, unmarried, and unrelated in a manner that would have rendered the marriage illegal.
Consult a family law attorney if you require assistance resolving family law judicial issues, such as a divorce. Generally speaking, a marriage exists if a couple goes through the legal process of getting married. However, only a few jurisdictions recognize common law marriage as a valid form of union. Common law marriages are formed when two people reside together for an extended period of time as if they are married and present themselves as husband and wife.
Prior To Getting a Marriage License
Prior to the issuance of a marriage license, all states typically require the filing of specific documents and forms. Additionally, if either party is under the age of 18, parental or guardian consent may be required prior to the issuance of a marriage license. Prenuptial agreements are common in family law cases and can protect parties from unforeseen events that may occur during or after the marriage. Typically, these types of agreements address property division, spousal support, and child support. It is essential to note that in order for these contracts to be valid and enforceable by the court, they must satisfy certain legal requirements.
A legal marriage requires the execution of a marriage contract. This is a legal document that must be properly drafted for a marriage to be genuine. Common law spouses are deemed married despite the absence of a formal ceremony or civil contract. This means that if two individuals began their relationship and lived together without formal recognition for an extended period of time, they can still be considered married under common law.
The requirements for a valid common law marriage differ by state, but generally include living together for an extended period of time (usually at least seven years) and presenting themselves to others as husband and wife during that time. Once these conditions are satisfied, the couple is deemed to have met all requirements for a valid marriage under American common law, and they are legally married without the need for additional paperwork or documentation.
In terms of filing for divorce, fault divorces are those in which one spouse accuses the other of violating one or more laws or the provisions of their marriage contract. California is a no-fault divorce state which means you can get divorced for any reason, so keep that in mind before getting married. Contact us at Hayat Family Law for more information.