Marriage Laws and What You Need to Know About Them

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There are different marriage laws in the United States, and it can be confusing to know what is available to you. In this article, we will clear up some of the confusion and explain the different types of marriage laws that are in place. We will focus on common law marriage, same-sex marriage, and civil unions.

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Common-law marriage

Common-law marriage is a type of marriage recognized in a limited number of states. Common-law marriage is a union between two people who are not legally married. To be considered in a common-law marriage, the couple must meet certain requirements, such as living together and being seen as married by the community. Common law marriages are not as common as traditional marriages, and they are not recognized in all states.

Same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage is a type of marriage that is available to same-sex couples. It is a union between two people of the same gender. Same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states in the United States.

There are many benefits of same-sex marriage. Some of these benefits include the ability to file taxes jointly, the ability to receive survivor benefits, and the ability to have both parents listed on the child’s birth certificate.

If you are in a same-sex marriage and are considering divorce, it is important to seek legal counsel. A same-sex divorce attorney can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process.

Domestic partnerships

Domestic partnerships are a type of relationship recognized in some states across the United States. A domestic partnership is not a marriage, but it offers many of the same benefits as marriage. Domestic partnerships are typically available to same-sex couples but can also be available to different-sex couples.

There are several advantages to being in a domestic relationship, including the ability to file taxes jointly, the ability to inherit property from your partner, and the ability to make medical decisions for your partner. Additionally, domestic partnerships typically offer some protection in the event of a break-up.

However, domestic partnerships are not recognized in all states, so it is important to check with your state’s laws to see if you are eligible.

Civil unions

Civil unions were first introduced in the United States in 2000. They are a type of legal union recognized by the state, and they provide many of the same rights and benefits as marriage. Civil unions can be entered into by any two adults, regardless of their sex or sexual orientation.

Civil unions provide many of the same rights and benefits as marriage, including the right to file a joint tax return, the right to inherit property, and make medical decisions for each other. However, the federal government does not recognize civil unions, so they do not provide all of the same rights and benefits as marriage.

Marriage licenses

A marriage license is a document that proves that a marriage has taken place. It is issued by the government and requires any marriage to be legally recognized. To get a marriage license, both parties must meet certain requirements, such as legal age and not being married to someone else.

Different types of marriage licenses are available, depending on the state. Some states offer a standard marriage license, while others have more specialized licenses. For example, some states offer a religious marriage license, which allows couples to be married by a member of the clergy. There are also common law marriage licenses, which allow couples to be married without having to go through the traditional wedding ceremony.

Each state has its own marriage license requirements, so it is important to check with your local government to find out what you need to do in order to get married.

Void and voidable marriages

A void marriage is a marriage that is considered to be invalid from the beginning. This means that marriage never existed in the eyes of the law. A voidable marriage, on the other hand, is a marriage that can be declared invalid by either party. This can happen if one of the parties involved in the marriage is underage, if one of the parties is mentally incapacitated, or if one of the parties is forced into the marriage. If you are considering getting married, it is important to understand the difference between a void and a voidable marriage, as this can affect your rights and responsibilities as a spouse.


Marriage laws can be difficult to understand and navigate. It is important for any couple who wants to get married to take the time to see what type of marriage law applies in their state, as there are several different types available depending on your relationship status and preferences.

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