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.
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.
Although different states have different requirements, this affidavit can usually only be signed by a couple who:
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:
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.
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.
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.
Last Modified: 05-01-2018 04:57 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.