View Full Version : Constitutional law says I don't have to have a marriage license
Mar 3, 2008, 01:35 PM
My better half is really into constitutional law (this takes presidence over all other laws if you are a soviern born person of the us, and I was born here). What paperwork is needed say for a court system to recognise a marriage? Certificate, signature from a priest or minister? Any info can and will help. Please make answers in english I am not a college professor. Thanks
Mar 3, 2008, 01:56 PM
I think she is refer to common law marriage. I don't think this law is on the constututional level. This is where the state recognize a man and woman who lived together for a certain time as being married. It varies from state to state. Some states don't recognize find if your stage does.
Common-law marriage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common-law_marriage)
Mar 3, 2008, 04:08 PM
You can go to the courthouse and actually get married by the Judge
Or you can go to the church and have the preacher marry you
They would tell you what all needs to be done and they would take care of the paperwork for the most part --at least my pastor did.
With common law, most states don't recognize it.
In my state (last I heard the state doesn't recognize common law but the commonwealth does) All you have to do is live together for a few months and have joint bank account or
Both names on the utilities.
Mar 3, 2008, 04:53 PM
Marriage is a state law, not a federal law. So the US constitution does not actually apply to it, States have the rights to set their own laws not in conflict with Federal laws.
So each state has its own rules. There is no actual need for a marriage license excpet for the following
1. right to vist in a hospital and be listed as next of kin
2. inheritance rights
3. right to federal SS benefits
4. right to insurance under group insurance
5. divorce issues
6. Federal income tax codes
And maybe a few others I did not come up with on the spur of moment.
Most states do not reconise common law marriage in the US any longer.
But your only chocies are to get a license that is reconsided in your state and have it signed by those allowed to in your state. It may be ( will vary by states) judge, pastor ( minister, priest) representitive allowed by court, notoary ** in some states...
There is no requirement you be married, but by not, you give up some of the rights that the government restricts.
Apr 21, 2008, 09:58 PM
My husband and I were married by his father who is a ordained minister. We had the big wedding with all the bells and whistles, but no marriage license. We believed that if you could say a vow to someone why do you need a piece of paper to put that VOW in use.
There are some drawbacks to not being "legally married", one is that you have to file more paperwork to change your last name (which I did not), and I think it costs more money. Second is for health insurance reasons they ask for the marriage license when you try to put your spouse on your policy. I got around this with my job because they allow for domestic partnership coverage.
But here are the benefits. If you ever need help from the state/government for medical, food, housing, money, etc. you have to show them your income only, because you are really a single person in their eyes. You can file your taxes as married because the IRS does not require a marriage license to file as married (check with your local tax person on this).
We have a common law marriage in our state which is seven years, but it has been eight years and we are still committed to each other.
Apr 22, 2008, 12:06 PM
A wedding license is needed prior to getting married, if I remember correctly.
Back in New York, you had to get a blood test (Wasserman(?)) to make sure your blood types were compatible and some other petty stuff so that you could then be "Licensed to Wed", which meant you now go to a Justice of the Peace, Judge, Priest, Minister or Rabbi and say we would like you to marry us.
After the marriage, you were given a Marriage Certificate to verify that under the eyes and laws of the State of New York you were married.
My lady and I have been married twice to each other. Once we eloped, then 3 years later when I turned 21, we were married in accordance with the Catholic Church.
The piece of paper does not make the marriage work. That takes hard work by both parties.
Consider this, you go to college, graduate and then choose not to accept the Diploma. Is that a similar choice, Oh yes, we are married, we just never bothered to get the certificate.
By the way, the nonsense about taxes, it is a lie to fraudulently file income taxes as a single person. You are not Single, you are married. It might reach the level of Income Tax Evasion, although I am in no way a Tax lawyer.
But check with the IRS on their help line and find out for sure.
Also, the only time we have ever been asked for our marriage certificate was when we were trying to find a hotel or motel for the night when we were in our teens. Now a days, you better have that certificate if you have any desire to get a passport. Oops, I forgot, you are married, but as far as the law knows you are not. So if it is ever necessary to prove your marital status, how do you plan on showing verification of the marriage?
Apr 22, 2008, 12:37 PM
I don't file my taxes as single, I file as married. We are not legally married, but I was just letting the poster know that you don't have to have a marriage license to have a wedding. And to get a passport why would I need a marriage license to get one? There are unmarried people who get them every day.
Apr 22, 2008, 01:47 PM
So, not to pick on your yo yo, you enjoy illegally the benefit of the taxes because you did ot want to get legally married. If it is so important not to do it, why then lie to get the benefit that the government gives?
If it is a matter of principle, why not accept what standing for that principle gives you
Apr 22, 2008, 02:37 PM
Where's a tax expert on here? The person who prepares our taxes said we could file as married even though we do not have a marriage license. So if it is illegal to file as married, then I was misled. We had a wedding, said our marriage vows to each other and to God to be faithful, had a ton of witnesses, wear our wedding rings. Just because I don't have a marriage license issued by the government is my marriage a sham? No I don't believe so. Why do I need one to tell me that it's OK to love? We chose to do it this way because if you can't trust someone by the word that they give you then what good does a piece of paper from the state do for us?
Apr 22, 2008, 03:27 PM
No you are not married legally in the US unless there is a marriage license from the government, a couple not legally married can not do a lot of things, and one of them is the tax benefit. So yes, you are merely a couple who are living together that are not married, so you can not legally file as married.
You can love anyone you want, but to follow the law you have to follow the rules. So you want it both ways, you want to not do what they ask when it is not what you want to do, but then you are not willing to pay the price for your choice.
Apr 22, 2008, 03:49 PM
What about a common law marriage? In our state you only need to be together for seven years in order for it to be common law marriage. In the eyes of our parents, friends, co-workers we are married. I call him my husband and I am his wife. I posted the question about having a marriage license to file as married, because I am curious about it now.
Apr 22, 2008, 04:21 PM
If your state still reconises it, then yes after 7 years ( although there are almost no states in the US that reconise it any longer)
And if this was a religious wedding, I would even go as far and say you are married in the eyes of God, and you are morally married, just not married under the laws of the state. And as such under the laws of the state, you can not benefit from the exceptions allowed under the terms of marriage laws.
Apr 23, 2008, 09:49 AM
my husband and i were married by his father who is a ordained minister. we had the big wedding with all the bells and whistles, but no marriage license. we believed that if you could say a vow to someone why do you need a piece of paper to put that VOW in use.
there are some drawbacks to not being "legally married", one is that you have to file more paperwork to change your last name (which i did not), and i think it costs more money. second is for health insurance reasons they ask for the marriage license when you try to put your spouse on your policy. i got around this with my job because they allow for domestic partnership coverage.
but here are the benefits. if you ever need help from the state/government for medical, food, housing, money, etc. you have to show them your income only, because you are really a single person in their eyes. you can file your taxes as married because the IRS does not require a marriage license to file as married (check with your local tax person on this).
we have a common law marriage in our state which is seven years, but it has been eight years and we are still committed to each other.
So which is it, are you married or not. From what I read in your posting it was clear to me that you were married.
And if married, why would you want to proclaim that you are not.
It don't understand you, but it's probably me, not you.
Apr 23, 2008, 10:00 AM
what about a common law marriage? in our state you only need to be together for seven years in order for it to be common law marriage.
And what state is that? Have you checked the laws recently? States have been doing away with common-law marriages over the last decade or so.
Apr 23, 2008, 10:05 AM
Well apparently the state that I live in doesn't recognize common law marriages. In my eyes, I am married. I now it's a strange thing to do, and people don't understand it. It's the one thing in our lives that we didn't feel we needed permission from "the man" to make our love valid. So we didn't get the license. It's like people that dye their hair pink, I don't get why they do it, but it's a personal choice.
Apr 23, 2008, 10:16 AM
well apparently the state that i live in doesn't recognize common law marriages. in my eyes, i am married. i now it's a strange thing to do, and people don't understand it. it's the one thing in our lives that we didn't feel we needed permission from "the man" to make our love valid. so we didn't get the license. it's like people that dye their hair pink, i don't get why they do it, but it's a personal choice.
Yes, but dying one's hair pink and filing taxes as a blond IS NOT ILLEGAL. Filing as married when you are not legally married IS.
Apr 23, 2008, 10:17 AM
There is a difference between being married and being committed to each other. You are NOT married. Marriage is a LEGAL institution that requires recognition by the state via a license or other means. Therefore you are not married and, this is the important part, you are not protected by law as a married person would be. This affects the way you file income tax, get covered for health and retirement benefits, etc. You could find yourself on the short end, if the IRS or your insurer finds out you are not married.
This doesn't change your commitment to your partner. That commitment exists now and has existed from the moment you took vows. But it has no validity in the eyes of the law.
Apr 23, 2008, 11:13 AM
About the whole tax thing, we asked about it before we filed that way. Our tax person said that it was OK. If we would have know that it was wrong we would not have done it. And yes we do realize that not having a marriage license makes some things impossible. But I stand by my decision to do it this way.
Apr 23, 2008, 03:14 PM
You could end all the speculation by telling us where you were married, and FYI, you can rectify this whole thing at the county court house, assuming your in America.
Apr 23, 2008, 03:36 PM
They are from Washington State, ( common law is not reconised) there was no marriage license from the state, but a marriage service.
Jul 9, 2008, 09:56 PM
In addition to what was said above, the U.S. Constitution does have the "full faith and credit" clause. This means that if you are legally married in one state, the other states have to honor the marriage as legal.
Jul 10, 2008, 09:31 AM
My better half is really into constitutional law (this takes presidence over all other laws if you are a soviern born person of the us, and i was born here). What paperwork is needed say for a court system to recognise a marrage? certificate, signature from a priest or minister? any info can and will help. please make answers in english i am not a college professor. Thanks
I'm stepping into this late - this is from March - but I never understand the "only a piece of paper argument" in a long term relationship. OP doesn't believe in marriage but has no problem receiving married people benefits - for example, filing joint taxes. IRS says you have to be legally married to file jointly, not married in a certain religion but not in the eyes of the State. Check the Regs. Then talk to your CPA.
My other problem with this is benefits if one or the other dies - no SS; unless there's a Will no automatic inheritance; all of those problems.
I never planned on being a widow nor does anyone else - but in a case of a long-term illness or disability or death you could very well be standing outside, in the dark, with no legal rights.