There are many different opinions on marriage. Some people believe that it is an outdated institution that is no longer relevant in today’s society, while others view marriage as a sacred vow that should be taken seriously. Regardless of what you think when it comes to marriage, there are some essentials you need to know about it.
One of these essentials is the laws surrounding it. Many people enter into the act of marriage unknown to the different laws that bind it. Some enter marriage knowing these laws and manipulating them for their gains. Not knowing the law surrounding marriage can lead you to enter the already high divorce rate in the United States. Before knowing the essential laws of marriage, we first have to discuss the different types of marriages.
Different types of marriages
There are different types of marriages, and each one has its own set of laws. For example, a common-law marriage is when two people live together for a certain period and hold themselves out to the public as a married couple. In some states, this type of marriage is recognized, while in others, it is not. If you are in a common-law marriage and move to a state that does not recognize it, you will be considered unmarried.
Another type of marriage is a religious marriage. This is when two people are married in a religious ceremony by a clergy member. Religious marriages are recognized in all states, as long as the religion involved allows them.
The last type of marriage is a civil marriage. This is when two people are married in a civil ceremony performed by a government official, such as a judge or a mayor. Civil marriages are recognized in all states.
Now that we have gone over the different types of marriages let’s discuss the essential laws that pertain to them.
Essential laws for common-law marriages
There are some essentials you need to know about common-law marriages. Common-law marriages require that the two individuals getting married live together to a certain extent. This is crucial proof, especially for divorce and child custody. If there is reliable proof that one partner does not live with the family for a while, the one who stays with the child has a higher chance to get child custody.
Another essential law is that the couple must hold themselves out to the public as married. This means that the two of you cannot keep your relationship a secret. If you are not public about your marriage, it will not be recognized in most states.
Lastly, common-law marriages have the same rights and responsibilities as traditional marriages. This includes tax benefits, social security benefits, and inheritance rights.
Essential laws for religious marriages
There are also some essentials you need to know about religious marriages. Both state and religious laws govern religious marriages.
Essentially, to participate in a religious marriage, both partners must be part of the same religion, and a member of the clergy must perform the marriage ceremony. All states recognize marriage as long as the religion involved allows it.
Regarding rights and responsibilities, religious marriages are treated the same as common-law marriages. This includes tax benefits, social security benefits, and inheritance rights.
Essential laws for civil marriages
There are also some essentials you need to know about civil marriages. Civil marriages are governed by state law. However, unlike religious marriages, civil marriages are officiated by a government official instead. They also have to register for a marriage license beforehand.
Common misconceptions about marriage
There are also some common misconceptions when it comes to marriage. One of them is concerning engagement rings.
Some couples claim that engagement rings are required before they get married. However, this isn’t required by law. What is required by law to a certain extent are wedding rings. These rings can serve as proof for the couple and the court when they get married.
Another misconception is that a prenuptial agreement is always required before getting married. This also isn’t the case. Prenuptial agreements are only required in specific situations, such as if one partner has a lot of assets before the marriage.
Lastly, there is the misconception that once you get married, you are automatically registered as a domestic partner. This is not always the case. You have to register as domestic partners separately in some states.
As you can see, different laws govern each type of marriage. It is essential to know these laws before entering into any marriage. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. If you have any questions, be sure to consult with a lawyer before getting married.