When you get married, you likely want everything to be perfect. While many couples focus on every detail of the ceremony and reception, some fail to focus on the legal requirements and implications of a marriage. It is highly important to take all the proper steps prior to a marriage to ensure that your marriage is valid and legal. One such step is obtaining the proper marriage license.
How to Obtain a Marriage License
Though you must be a resident of Florida to get a divorce, you do not have to be a resident of Florida to get married in the state. In fact, many people have destination weddings in the area and should remember that, if they are getting married in Florida, they must apply for a marriage license in Florida and not in their state of residence.
If you are getting married in Boca Raton or anywhere in the area, you may apply for a license at any of the Palm Beach Clerk & Comptroller locations. Both you and your spouse-to-be must be present at the time of application. Each of you must identify yourself by providing one of the following:
- United States driver’s license; or
- Other state or federal identification card.
If one or both parties are under the age of 18, they must also provide a birth certificate and a parental consent form. Additionally, the parents must be present with their own identification, which must match the name on the minor’s birth certificate. For minors under age 16, they must also provide proof that they are the expectant parents or parents of a child.
Couples from outside of Florida have no waiting period and may receive their license immediately. Generally, Florida residents must wait three days to obtain a license, however this waiting period is not necessary if the couple shows proof that they attended a registered premarital course. All couples may also receive a discount on the marriage license fees if they show proof of completion of a premarital course.
It is imperative that you follow all of the marriage license guidelines prior to getting married, otherwise your marriage will not be recognized by the state of Florida–or by any state, for that matter. Not having a legally valid marriage can cause significant complications down the road, especially if you ever decide to get divorced. If you failed to get a marriage license and were never legally married, you will not be granted a divorce and the state laws regulating dissolution of marriage will not apply. This means you never legally had any marital property, and will not necessarily be entitled to equitable division of property. Additionally, you will not be eligible for any type of spousal support. These are only some complications that may occur if you do not have a valid marriage.
Contact an Attorney for Help
Experienced Boca Raton family law attorney Alan Burton handles all matters that relate to pre-marriage, marriage, divorce, and more. If you are planning to get married and have any questions or legal concerns, do not hesitate to contact our office for help at 888-341-5223 today.
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