Marriage in Georgia

When you are planning your marriage there are a great many topics on your mind. The love for your soon-to-be spouse is one of the issues that is foremost on your mind—as it should be. However, the State of Georgia believes that marital counseling should also be one of these subjects on your mind as you plan your wedding. Taking time out to get psychological counseling with your beloved partner can greatly increase your marriages chances at success, according to many experts.

Premarital Education

State law in Georgia now requires every county in Georgia to charge more money for a marriage license if couples have not attended a premarital education program—this shows just how much the State of Georgia believes in the power of counseling before marriage.

One county in Georgia, Cobb County, offers a free premarital workshop. Like other workshops and education programs across the state, it is non-religious and concerns communication and listening skills. Couples are taught about financial planning and anger management.

Getting the Marriage License

As stated previously, the fee for a license is higher for couples who have not completed premarital counseling. The license price is around $65, yet that price is reduced for couples who show proof that they have gone to marital classes.

Each member of the couple must present two valid forms of identification. These can be:

  • Driver's license
  • State identification card
  • Birth certificate
  • U.S. passport
  • Military identification card
  • Resident alien identification card

Applicants will also have to fill out a form. If either member of the couple has been previously married, a copy of the divorce decree will need to be shown. Some counties only ask to see a copy if the divorce was in the last six months; however, other counties ask to see it regardless of how long ago the divorce took place.

It is important to note that applications for marriage licenses need to be filed in the county where you plan to have the wedding performed.

Common Law Marriages

A common law marriage is one in which a couple lives together as man and wife, yet they have not had a formal marriage ceremony and do not have a marriage certificate. The couple presents themselves as a married couple. These marriages used to be recognized in Georgia; however, that is no longer the case. Only common law marriages that were created before January 1, 1997 are recognized in the State of Georgia.

If you are planning on getting married, contact a local attorney who can help with any questions you may have.

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