2What You’ll LearnHow to describe the marriage laws in your state with regard to age requirements, ceremony, medical exams, and license (pp )
3What You’ll LearnHow to differentiate between a common-law marriage and a ceremonial marriage (pp )
4Why It’s ImportantUnderstanding the various marriage laws will make you better prepared when the time comes to choose a spouse.
5Legal Termscommon-law marriage (p. 681)solemnize (p. 683)marriage license (p. 685)proxy marriage (p. 687)
6Section Outline The Requirements of Marriage Age Requirements Common-Law MarriageCeremonial MarriageCovenant Marriage
7Section Outline The Requirements of Marriage, continued Marriage LicenseWaiting PeriodBlood Test/Physical ExaminationProxy MarriageUse of Various Names
8Pre-Learning Question What do you think are some of the legal requirements for marriage?
9The Requirements of Marriage Each state has its own laws regulating marriage, but most state laws address the following issues:agetype of marriagelicense
10The Requirements of Marriage waiting periodblood test/physical exam
11Age RequirementsWith exceptions in Mississippi and Nebraska, you can be married at age 18 without your parent’s consent.You can be married at a younger age if a parent or guardian gives permission.
12Common-Law MarriageIn England, under the common law, people did not need to have a formal ceremony to bind them in wedlock.Instead they only had to agree between themselves that they were married.
13Common-Law MarriageNo witnesses were required, and the agreement could be either oral or written.This informal type of marriage, called a common-law marriage, came to America with the early colonists.
14Common-Law MarriageToday, 11 states and the District of Columbia still recognize common-law marriages.
15Common-Law MarriageWith a few exceptions, the states that recognize the common-law marriage require the following elements:
16Common-Law ElementsThe parties must agree, by words in the present tense, that they are husband and wife.The parties must cohabit, or live together for a certain time period.
17Common-Law ElementsThe parties must represent themselves as being husband and wife so that the public recognizes their marital status.
18Common-Law ElementsThis representation may be accomplished by actions such as introducing your partner as your spouse, and by sharing a joint bank account.
19Ceremonial MarriageFrom early colonial times, a marriage ceremony could only be officiated by a cleric or magistrate.Today, most states still require some kind of ceremony or other serious right to solemnize marriage.
20Ceremonial MarriageAs long as the parties declare that they take each other as husband and wife in the presence of a person authorized by state law to solemnize marriages, no particular form must be followed.
21Covenant MarriageThe covenant marriage, adopted in Arkansas, Arizona, and Louisiana, is an attempt to reduce divorce and protect children.
22Covenant MarriageThe parties to a covenant marriage must undergo counseling before the wedding and during the marriage to solve conflicts.Couples can divorce only after a two-year separation.
23Marriage LicenseA marriage license is a certificate issued by a government office that gives permission to two people to marry.
24Marriage LicenseOnce issued, the license becomes effective after any waiting period required by state law but expires if the couple doesn’t marry within that time period.
25Waiting PeriodToday, most states have a waiting period before a license is issued.This gives both the man and woman time to reconsider their decision.
26Blood Test/Physical Examination Some states require a blood test or physical examination before a marriage license is issued.
27Blood Test/Physical Examination These tests may screen prospective spouses forAIDSvenereal diseasesickle cell anemiarubellainfectious tuberculosis
28Proxy MarriageIn a proxy marriage, one or both of the parties can’t be present for the wedding, and an agent acts on their behalf.Such a marriage, which is allowed in some states, still requires a ceremony.
29Proxy MarriageThe Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act provides that a person who can’t come to the solemnization of his or her marriage may authorize, in writing, a third person to act as proxy.
30Use of Various NamesUnder common law, people may use any name provided they do not do so to commit fraud. A wife does not have to adopt her husband’s surname (last name), for example.
31If Maria and Eddie meet at St If Maria and Eddie meet at St. Joseph’s Cathedral to exchange wedding vows in front of 200 guests, what type of marriage are they demonstrating?
37Reviewing What You Learned Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedUnder today’s law, at what age may a person in most states marry without parental consent?
38Reviewing What You Learned Answer Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedAnswerAge 18.
39Reviewing What You Learned Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedWhat is the difference between a common-law marriage and a ceremonial marriage?
40Reviewing What You Learned Answer Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedAnswerA common-law marriage is an informal type of marriage requiring no ceremony. The parties must agree that they are husband and wife, they must cohabit, and must present themselves to the public as being husband and wife.
41Reviewing What You Learned Answer Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedAnswerEleven states and the District of Columbia recognize common-law marriages. A ceremonial marriage is required by most states to solemnize marriage.
42Reviewing What You Learned Answer Section AssessmentReviewing What You LearnedAnswerNo particular form of marriage ceremony is required, as long as the parties declare in the presence of a person who has authority by state law to solemnize marriages that they take each other as husband and wife.
43Critical Thinking Activity Surnames Section AssessmentCritical Thinking ActivitySurnamesAre there any reasons why a husband and wife having different surnames would be impractical? Explain your answer.
44Critical Thinking Activity Answer Surnames Section AssessmentCritical Thinking Activity AnswerSurnamesAnswers may vary, but some may address the issue of children and their last names.
45Legal Skills in Action Marriage Laws Section AssessmentLegal Skills in ActionMarriage LawsUsing a software program, design a table of the marriage laws you need to consider before getting married. Do your best to include all the laws discussed in this chapter.
46Legal Skills in Action Answer Section AssessmentLegal Skills in Action AnswerMarriage LawsTables will vary but may address your particular state laws.