MARRIAGE LAWS AND PROCEDURES
MARRIAGE LAW LICENSE TEXAS
- A man and a woman desiring to enter into a ceremonial marriage must obtain a marriage license from the county clerk of any county of this state.
- A license may not be issued for the marriage of persons of the same sex.
- Each person applying for a license must:
- appear before the county clerk;
- submit the person's proof of identity and age; a certified copy of the applicant's birth certificate or by some certificate, license, or document issued by this state or another state, the United States, or a foreign government.
- provide the information applicable to that person for which spaces are provided in the application for a marriage license;
- mark the appropriate boxes provided in the application;_ and
- take the oath printed on the application and sign the application before the county clerk.
Application for License by Minor
- A person under 18 years of age applying for a license must provide to the county clerk:
- documents establishing parental consent for the person to the marriage;
- documents establishing that a prior marriage of the person has been dissolved;_ or
- a court order granted authorizing the marriage of the person.
- The application form must contain:
- each applicant's full name, including the woman's maiden surname,
- address, social security number, if any,
- date of birth, and place of birth, including city, county, and state;
- _the document tendered by each applicant as proof of identity and age;
- whether each applicant has been divorced within the last 30 days;
- the applicants shall furnish that the other applicant is not related to him/her as:
- an ancestor or descendant, by blood or adoption;
- a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption;
- a parent's brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption; or
- a son or daughter of a brother or sister, of the whole or half blood or by adoption.";
- immediately below the printed oath for the applicants' signatures;
- a certificate of the county clerk that:
- each applicant made the oath and the date and place that it was made; or
- an applicant did not appear personally but the prerequisites for the license have been fulfilled as provided by this chapter;
- a space for the address to which the applicants desire the completed license to be mailed.
- As per the laws of the state any adult person or the other applicant may apply on behalf of the absent applicant.
- The person applying on behalf of an absent applicant shall provide to the clerk:
- the affidavit of the absent applicant as provided by this subchapter;
- proof of the identity and age of the absent applicant as provided by this subchapter;_ and
- if required because the absent applicant is a person under 18 years of age, the documents establishing parental consent, documents establishing that a prior marriage has been dissolved, or a court order authorizing the marriage of the absent, underage applicant.
Execution of Application by Clerk_
- The county clerk shall:
- determine that all necessary information is recorded on the application and that all necessary documents are submitted;
- administer the oath to each applicant appearing before the clerk;
- whether each applicant appearing before the clerk sign the application in the clerk's presence;_ and
- execute the clerk's certificate on the application.
- A person appearing before the clerk on behalf of an absent applicant is not required to take the oath on behalf of the absent applicant.
Issuance of License
- The county clerk may not issue a license if either applicant:
- fails to provide the information as is required by law;
- fails to submit proof of age and identity;
- is under 14 years of age and has not been granted a court order;
- _is 14 years of age or older but under 18 years of age and has not presented at least one of the following:
- parental consent as provided;
- documents establishing that a prior marriage of the applicant has been dissolved;_ or
- a court order;
- fails to make a required declaration in an affidavit required of an absent applicant;_ or
- indicates that the applicant has been divorced by a decree of a court of this state within the last 30 days, unless:
- the applicants were divorced from each other;_ or
- the prohibition against remarriage is waived.
- On the proper execution of the application, the clerk shall:
- prepare the license;
- enter on the license the names of the licensees, the date that the license is issued, and, if applicable, the name of the person appointed to act as proxy for an absent applicant, if any;
- record the time at which the license was issued;
- distribute to each applicant printed materials about acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) and note on the license that the distribution was made;_ and
- distribute to each applicant a premarital education handbook provided by the attorney general.
- Marriage license is valid for a period of 30 days in the state.
Age: The marriage age as per the state law is 18 years or more. The person above 14 years and below 18 years may marry subject to court order and parental consent.
Residency Requirement: _The person willing to marry need not have to be resident of the state.
Persons Authorized to Conduct Ceremony
The following persons are authorized to conduct a marriage ceremony:
- a licensed or ordained Christian minister or priest;
- a Jewish rabbi;
- a person who is an officer of a religious organization and who is authorized by the organization to conduct a marriage ceremony;_ and
- a justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of criminal appeals, justice of the courts of appeals, judge of the district, county, and probate courts, judge of the county courts at law, judge of the courts of domestic relations, judge of the juvenile courts, retired justice or judge of those courts, justice of the peace, retired justice of the peace, or judge or magistrate of a federal court of this state.
- A marriage ceremony may not take place during the 72-hour period immediately following the issuance of the marriage license.
- The 72-hour waiting period after issuance of a marriage license does not apply to an applicant who:
- is a member of the armed forces of the United States and on active duty;_ or
- obtains a written waiver from a judge of a court with jurisdiction in family law cases.
- On receiving an unexpired marriage license, an authorized person may conduct the marriage ceremony.
- A person unable to appear for the ceremony may assent to marriage by the appearance of a proxy appointed in the affidavit.
Return of License
- The person who conducts a marriage ceremony shall record on the license the date on which and the county in which the ceremony is performed and the person's name, subscribe the license.
- The person who performed the marriage ceremony shall return the license to the county clerk who issued it not later than the 30th day after the date the ceremony is conducted.
- The county clerk shall record a returned marriage license and mail the license to the address indicated on the application.
VALIDITY OF MARRIAGE
- The validity of a marriage is not affected by any fraud, mistake, or illegality that occurred in obtaining the marriage license.
- The validity of a marriage is not affected by the lack of authority of the person conducting the marriage ceremony if:
- there was a reasonable appearance of authority by that person;_ and
- at least one party to the marriage participated in the ceremony in good faith and that party treats the marriage as valid.
- The common law marriage and same sex are prohibited by the state.