Marriage in Florida

Florida would be a beautiful state for anyone’s wedding.  The scenery is stunning, and the weather is gorgeous most of the time.  If you are planning a Florida wedding, though, don’t let yourself get caught up in the beauty of the state—there are some important details about Florida marriages about which you should be aware before making any big decisions about your wedding.

Getting a Marriage License

It isn’t necessary to be a resident of Florida to get married in Florida—and, non-residents have no waiting period.  They do, however, have to pay a higher fee.  The fee is $93.50.

Florida residents must pay that higher fee as well—unless they have completed a state-sanctioned marriage preparation course within 12 months prior to applying for the marriage license.  These courses are typically at least four hours long and teach couples communication skills and how to work on a marriage.  Couples who have taken a course pay a much lower fee—typically less than $35.  Additionally, residents who have taken the course have not waiting period; in contrast, residents who have not taken the course must wait for three days.

 

 

To apply for a marriage license is actually rather simple.  Here is what each member of the couple needs to bring:

  • Photo identification—such as a driver’s license, state identification card, passport, visa, or military identification card
  • Social Security card or valid passport number or I-94 card
  • Certified copy of birth certificate
  • Certified copy of divorce decree if divorce occurred within past 30 days; otherwise, bring divorce date (if previously married and previous marriage ended in divorce)
  • Certified copy of death certificate if death occurred within past 30 days; otherwise, bring date of spouse’s death (if previously married and previous marriage ended in spouse’s death)

Minor Marriages

There are a few instances in which minor individuals can obtain marriage licenses.  Here are some of the situations:

  • If one member of a couple is under the age of 18, yet older than 16, a marriage license can be obtained with parental consent.  The consent of one parent is acceptable if the parent has sole custody or if the other parent is deceased.
  • If a minor under the age of 16 wishes to marry, the marriage license must be issued by a county judge—either with or without parental consent.

If a minor’s parents are both deceased and the minor has no court-appointed guardian, the minor may apply for a marriage license without adult consent.

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