What Is Involved in the Process of a Courthouse Marriage?


Quick Answer

To get married at a courthouse, you must apply for a marriage license, choose a date and judge, and pay a fee. Certain details of the marriage procedure vary by state and county, so you must check with your local courthouse about how long it will take to get the marriage license, how much it will cost and whether witnesses are required.

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Full Answer

Go to your local courthouse to apply for a marriage license. The application will require a small fee that varies according to state. It will take between half an hour and two weeks to receive the marriage license, again depending on the state in which you apply. If you are a minor, you must obtain parental or judicial consent before you are eligible to marry. In most states, a minor is defined as a person under the age of 18. As of 2015, however, the age of marriage without consent in Nebraska and Mississippi is 19 and 21, respectively.

If you plan to marry at the courthouse, you must pick a date and choose a judge or court-authorized minister of any religious denomination to perform the ceremony. Some states require that witnesses be present at the ceremony, so you will need to select witnesses if you live in a state that requires them.

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