Can You Get Married in Another State?

Apr 24, 2023 | Prenup, Marriage

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Yes. Most states in the U.S. do not require you to be a resident to get a marriage license. Additionally, states usually recognize each other’s marriage licenses, so a marriage license issued in any state should be valid throughout the country.



Keep in mind, however, that the laws for marriage and divorce are different in each state. You will need to follow the local rules regarding marriage wherever you tie the knot. For example, Mississippi requires a blood test and a 3-day waiting period to issue a marriage license, and in California, you can get married on the same day you apply for a marriage license.



Can You Get Divorced in California If You Get Married in Another State?



Yes. No matter where you get married (within the United States), California will recognize your union, and as long as you meet the requirements, the state will grant your divorce. In general, divorce is based on where you live – not where you got married.



To get divorced in California, you or your spouse must have lived in the state for the past 6 months and your county of residence for at least 3 months. This is called the residency requirement.



What Are the Requirements for Marriage and Divorce in California?



To get married in California, you and your spouse must be at least 18 years of age and have valid legal identification, and a marriage ceremony must be performed by an authorized person within 90 days of the date the license is issued. Many people get married at City Hall.



California was also the first state to implement “no-fault divorce,” so you do not have to prove one spouse did something wrong to be granted a divorce. You can get a divorce by starting a court case in the county you live in, paying a fee ($435 to $450 depending on where you live), and serving the papers to your spouse.



Once you have filed for divorce, you and your spouse will need to “make an agreement about how to split your property, handle finances, and care for and support your children.” If you cannot agree, the court will make these decisions for you. The divorce will become final 6 months after you submit your final agreement to the court.


Do You Need a Lawyer to Get Divorced in California?



No. Many couples get divorced without a lawyer. DIY (do-it-yourself) divorce may be the right option for some couples, but others may benefit from an attorney.



If you and your spouse disagree on any aspect of your divorce, hiring a lawyer is in your best interest. Your lawyer will give you expert advice, apply their experience to your case, take away some of the stress of filing for divorce, and help you avoid mistakes and delays.



At Gabbard Family Law, you come first. I can help you with everything from prenuptial agreements and courthouse weddings to co-parenting your children after a divorce.



For all things family law in California, please call or contact the office online – let’s protect what matters most.