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What Is a Marriage Affidavit?

A marriage affidavit can serve as legal proof of a union between two people.
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  • Written By: Meghan Perry
  • Edited By: Amanda L. Wardle
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2014
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A marriage affidavit is generally used to provide proof of a legal union between two people. There are different types of these affidavits, but in general they require at least one witness to provide sworn testimony to the legality of the marriage. In some cases, two witnesses are needed — one for each of the parties involved. All parties must be present when the affidavit is signed.

In some cases, a marriage affidavit is completed at a courthouse. Someone will appear as a witness and swear that both people are legally allowed to get married. If the couple's age is in question, a parent may serve as a witness. In this scenario, the witness must also swear that no obstacles exist that could prohibit the marriage.

The marriage affidavit serves as a state-recognized legal document. Requirements for a marriage affidavit may vary from state to state. For example, states that recognize common law marriages often require that couples fill out a common law affidavit of marriage form in order to qualify as a married couple. In this case, two witnesses aware of the common law relationship must be present. The information required in this form includes the full names and addresses of the married couple, the relationship of the witnesses to the couple, and how the witnesses acquired knowledge of the common law relationship.

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Sometimes, more detailed information is required to complete an affidavit. The couple may be required to certify that neither is married to another person, that they are not related, that each is legally competent and mentally able to make a decision about marriage, and that the couple will share living expenses. A notary public is often a witness to the signing of the affidavit.

A marriage affidavit is sometimes used in companies to show proof of a marriage. This can be done if a marriage certificate is, for some reason, not available. Often, this is required if the company offers benefits to the employee and the spouse. The affidavit can serve as proof that the marriage is legal so that the spouse can receive benefits.

The most important part of a marriage affidavit is the signatures of the couple and the witnesses. These signatures make the agreement binding. If the affidavit contains falsehoods, both the couple and the witnesses may face legal charges.

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Nefertini
Post 2

@Ceptorbi, I didn't know the church required such things for marriages. I work in human resources, and people sometimes lose their marriage certificates and then have to get a marriage affidavit to prove they're legally married so they can obtain health insurance or other benefits for their spouse. In states that recognize common law marriages, common law marriage affidavits may be needed for similar purposes.

Ceptorbi
Post 1
I had to provide a marriage affidavit for my son. He married a Catholic girl, and the priest at my daughter-in-law's church would not perform the marriage ceremony without an affidavit stating my son had never been married before. I didn't have an affidavit sample to follow. However, the priest told me what the statement needed to say. I had to state how long I had known my son, what my relationship was to him, and verify that my son had never been married before and was free to marry. He and my daughter-in-law also had to attend premarital counseling classes called Pre-Cana classes. This was all in addition to getting the marriage license and blood tests the state requires for the marriage to be legal.

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