As per the family law of Minnesota the marriage is a civil contract between a man and a woman, to which the consent of the parties, capable in law of contracting, is essential. A marriage in the State can only be solemnized after obtaining a license. The marriage is solemnized in the presence of two witnesses by a solemnizing authority.
The following persons are eligible to marry who
- has attained the full age of 18 years,
- A person of the full age of 16 years may, with the consent of the person's parents, guardian, or the court,
- has received a license to marry, after a careful inquiry into the facts and the surrounding circumstances,
the person's application for a license is approved by the judge of the juvenile court of the county in which the person resides.
The following marriages are declared to be void if:
- a marriage entered into before the dissolution of an earlier marriage of one of the parties
- a marriage between an ancestor and a descendant, or between a brother and a sister, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood or by adoption;
- a marriage between an uncle and a niece, between an aunt and a nephew, or between first cousins, whether the relationship is by the half or the whole blood, except as to marriages permitted by the established customs of aboriginal cultures; and
- a marriage between persons of the same sex.
A marriage with a mentally retarded persons except on written consent of the Commissioner Human Services
SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE
Ø Marriage License
- Before marriage the person wishing to marry shall obtain a marriage license from the court administrator of the district court of any county.
- The application for license may be applied in a prescribed form and with a fees of $70.00.
- When the court administrator receives an application for license he examines upon oath the party applying for a license relating to the impediment of marriage.
- If at the expiration of a five-day period, on being satisfied that there is no legal impediment to it, the court administrator shall issue the license.
A license is valid for a period of six months.
Documents Required for License
Birth certificate showing the person wishing to marry are above 18 years of age.
- If the persons below 18 years but not less than 16 years of age may apply for marriage license with the written consent from the parents to marry and with the courts order.
- If previously married, the date of divorce or date of spouse's death must be provided or a decree of divorce may be submitted.
It is not required to be a previous or current resident of Minnesota to obtain a marriage license that is valid statewide.
Ø Marriage solemnization
- After obtaining the License to marry the person may go to the persons authorized to solemnize the marriage ceremony.
- They may examine the parties on oath, before solemnizing a marriage.
- Marriage is solemnized in presence of a person authorized to solemnize marriages and two attending witnesses who shall be at least 16 years of age.
- The marriage is considered as solemnized when the parties declare that they take each other as husband and wife in presence of two witnesses and authorized person for solemnizing the marriage.
- The person solemnizing a marriage shall prepare and sign three certificates thereof.
- Each certificate shall contain the full names before and after marriage and county and state of residences of the parties and the date and place of the marriage.
- Each certificate shall also contain the signatures of at least two of the witnesses present at the marriage.
- The person solemnizing the marriage shall give each of the parties one such certificate, and shall immediately make a record of such marriage.
The person solemnizing marriage shall file one such certificate with the court administrator of the district court of the county in which the license was issued within five days after the ceremony.
Ø Persons authorized to solemnize the marriage
A marriage may be solemnized either by:
- a judge or a retired judge of a court of record,
- a court administrator or a retired court administrator with the approval of the chief judge of the judicial district,
- a former court commissioner who is employed by the court system or is acting pursuant to an order of the chief judge of the commissioner's judicial district,
- ministers of any religious denomination