In the case of any future litigation or legal proceedings, it is crucial to be sure that your marriage and marriage ceremony is performed legally. Your legal marriage is crucial for taxation purposes, parental responsibility and proper handling of property. Each state has specific regulations for what constitutes a legal marriage and what it takes to get a marriage license.
For example, the state of North Carolina, as one example, recognizes applications for marriage between a man and a women only and also has particular requirement for the ages of the people seeking marriage. Any unmarried person that is at least 18 years of age may be legally married. Additionally, a marriage will have grounds for annulment if one of the parties was not unmarried at the time of the second marriage. There are several other conditions that can make a marriage eligible for annulment, but these qualifications often vary based on state laws.
Additionally, minors cannot be married except in very specific circumstances. First, no person under the age of 14 may be legally married under any circumstances. If a person is between the age of 16 and 18 they may be married, dependent on the signed consent form of a legal guardian or parent.
Also, an unmarried person between the ages of 14 and 16 may be married upon the consent of the court ruling in the best interest of the person and the consent of the parent or legal guardian. In order to legalize a marriage, it must be performed by a legal magistrate or ordained minister of a religion. This is in order to ensure a credible witness for a legal marriage.