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Affidavit of Marriage Attorneys

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Affidavit of Marriage Attorneys

Marriage requirements vary from state to state, but all states do require a couple to obtain a marriage license as proof that the marriage took place. Sometimes, spouses may need to prove they are legally married where there is no marriage license available. In this situation, they can seek an affidavit of marriage.

What Is an Affidavit of Marriage?

An affidavit of marriage is a legally binding document to provide proof a legal marriage exists between two people. It is signed by the people who are claiming to be spouses and witnesses.

What Are the Requirements of an Affidavit of Marriage?

Although different states have different requirements, this affidavit can usually only be signed by a couple who: 

  • Share the same residence
  • Are not married to anyone else
  • Have a close relationship with each other
  • Are of valid marrying age
  • Are not closely related by blood
  • Mentally competent
  • Share living expenses

Why Would I Need a Marriage Affidavit?

The affidavit is one way to prove the existence of a common law marriage. Unlike a traditional marriage, a common law marriage occurs without the couple having a marriage ceremony or obtaining a marriage license. Some states do not recognize common law marriage. In these states, a common law married couple may need to complete the affidavit to receive legal recognition and benefits afforded a legally married couple.

Other reasons to have this affidavit include:

  • When a couple cannot locate their marriage license
  • If an employer asks one spouse to submit an affidavit in order to add the other spouse onto the company’s health insurance plan
  • To prove a valid marriage to immigration officials
  • To show one spouse has legal right to an estate
  • To prove to an insurance company of a marriage to receive insurance proceeds

What If I Sign the Affidavit When I Am Not Actually Married?

Anyone who signs this affidavit knowing that they are not married to the person that they are claiming being married to can face perjury penalties because they are. The same risk of perjury penalties applies to any witnesses who sign the document while knowing that the marriage does not exist.

Can Marriage Affidavit Validate an Invalid Marriage?

No. An invalid marriage is any marriage that is not legal because of a reason such as bigamy, incapacity, or duress. Thus, the couple would likely not satisfy the requirements for a valid affidavit of marriage.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Marriage Affidavit?

There are certain situations where it is very important to prove that your marriage does exist, and a marriage affidavit is an easy way to prove that. Contact a family attorney to assist you with drafting a valid marriage affidavit.

Photo of page author Taelonnda Sewell

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 12-11-2015 05:28 PM PST

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