Steps in the Marriage Process

Steps in the Marriage Process

What a beautiful thing it is for a couple to fall in love, get married, and start a family. While this may seem like a straightforward process on the surface, anybody who has been through the marriage process before can say that this is anything but straightforward. While planning a wedding is hard enough, there are additional steps that people need to think about involving the legalities of marriage in the eyes of the law.

Here are some of the steps for getting married in Miami-Dade County.

Applying for a Marriage License

It is important to make sure that people go to the county court judge or the clerk of a local circuit court to ask for a marriage license. These applications can be filled out at the county clerk's office. When people go to the county clerk to ask for a marriage license, it is important that the couple go together and that they bring identification with them. This could include a driver's license, state ID card, or a passport. People should also make sure that they know their social security number or they have their social security card with them. Furthermore, there are fees that people will need to pay to receive their marriage license. For those who complete a course prior to marriage, this fee can be reduced. It is also important to note that there may be a waiting period upon applying for the marriage license. It would not be possible to get married immediately upon applying for the marriage license. Someone planning to get married needs to keep that in consideration when planning their wedding and completing all the necessary steps required prior to their wedding day.

Couples that have a religious ceremony as part of their wedding day may need to take a pre-wedding course which might be organized by the church they plan to marry at. Some of those courses are more than one day and focus on applying religious teachings to one’s marriage. Taking such a course may waive or limit the required time-frame between obtaining the marriage license and actually getting married.

Who Performs a Marriage?

There are several people that can perform a marriage in the local area. These include ordained ministers, elders in communion with the church, or other ordained clergy or judicial officers. These are individuals who can officiate the ceremony at the wedding and ensure that the marriage is valid in the eyes of the law, and in the eyes of the church for the couples that have a religious ceremony as part of their wedding.

Notaries Could be Needed

There are significant amounts of paperwork that will need to be completed to make the marriage official. Some of these forms may need to be notarized. This could entail visiting a notary who will be able to seal the documents officially. In some cases, this could entail a fee as well. People may need to bring identification to the notary in order for this process to be completed. People can even become a notary themselves, should they wish.

Witnesses May be Necessary

The Marriage Certificate may require the signature of two witnesses. Many times, couples may choose their Best Man and Maid of Honor to act as their two witnesses. Of course, a couple intended to marry can choose anyone to act as their witnesses. They need to decide who will act as their witnesses and make sure those witnesses are present to sign the marriage certificate when necessary.

Clearly, this process is not always as easy as it appears, and hiccups can happen along the way, making the process even more confusing. When this happens, it can be helpful to speak with an experienced attorney to learn about assistance that may be available to them. Nobody should feel alone during a stressful situation and help is always available for those who ask for it.

Article updated September 26, 2020.

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