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Marriage in Florida

Marriage in Florida: for foreigners, prision, age, without licence, how to annul. Marriage is a lifelong commitment to devote oneself to their partner selflessly.

Marriage in Florida: for foreigners, prision, age, without licence, how to annul
Marriage in Florida: for foreigners, prision, age, without licence, how to annul

Marriages are the beginning; of a new bond that involves physical, emotional, and spiritual attachment. Every country has different views and laws regarding marriages, as Florida has.

In Florida, the marriage was defined under FLORIDA STATUTES § 741.212(3) as a relationship forming a legal union between one man and one woman only. The term ‘spouse’ gets used for the persons getting married to each other. Thus, only a man and woman can commit to marriages under Florida law. 

However, can a foreigner marry under Florida law or be eligible to get a marriage licence in Florida? Are there any legal age requirements to get married in Florida? How to annul a marriage and get divorced in Florida? 

Let’s dig out the answers to your every question.

Marriages laws for foreigners in Florida

To get a marriage licence in Florida, you don’t need to be a state resident. The Florida marriage licence is valid in under 50 states internationally.

Florida law allows every foreigner to get a marriage licence by applying to the county court from anywhere they live or getting married in the state. They need to follow the same procedure as any other resident citizen in Florida. The mandatory requirement they need to follow are as follows:

  • Both the parties willing to get married need to personally visit and apply to the county court from anywhere in Florida State.
  • If either or both the party is from a foreign country and not a US Citizen; they need to furnish an alien registration document or another identification document that contains; an alien registration number.
  • They need to complete a four-hour premarital preparation course to get a valid certificate. If the certificate does not produce, the marriage licence can get delayed for; 3 days. 
  • But the county court can exempt foreign residents from the delay period of 3 days and immediately issue marriage licences.

After fulfilling the requirements, the non-resident citizen in Florida can obtain a valid marriage licence under Florida law. They do not need to spend a minimum of days or years; to become eligible for a marriage licence in Florida.

Can prisoners get married in Florida?

Yes, inmates in prison can get married in Florida, but if allowed to do so. Under Fla. Admin. Code Ann. R. 33-503.002, inmates willing to get married; must submit a marriage request form to the chaplain or warden of the institution. After receiving the marriage request form, the Chaplain will advise about the information and documents they need to furnish. The inmates of prison must furnish the following document to the chaplain:

  • A written statement indicating the desire of both the parties to get married.
  • A notarized parental consent if any of the parties is below 18 years of age and at least 17 years of age.
  • Proof of divorce certificate or death certificate in case of precious marriage.

After reviewing all the documents and information, the Chaplain may allow the inmates to get married in prison. The Chaplain will allow; them only if they do not pose any threat to security, the security, and the peace of the institution or the state. If the chaplain declines the request form, he must inform the concerned authority.

After getting approval, the inmates in prison can get the marriage licence and submit the documents required for the same.

A marriage in prison is generally organised in visitation parks with certain restrictions. They are not allowed to lighten the unity candles, share wines and break the glass. 

What is the legal Marriage age under Florida law?

Every country has its laws regarding marriages and the legal age to marry any person. These laws differ from country to country. On attaining a certain age, a person becomes eligible to marry any person of their choice; the age differs under each country’s law. Like other countries, Florida prescribes age requirements to get married. 

FLORIDA STATUTES § 741.04(1), a county court judge or clerk of the circuit court can refrain from issuing a marriage licence to a person below 18 years of age. Thus any person below 18 years old cannot get married; under Florida law. But, there is an exception. A person can get married below the age requirement depending upon; whether the parents consent or not.

According to FLORIDA STATUTES § 741.04, (b) a person below the age of 18 years can get married; if that person is at least 17 years old and provide the notarized consent of their parents or authorised legal guardian to take an acknowledgment. Such consent is not needed for a person to meet the age requirements condition.

However, a person below 17 years old is prohibited from marrying, no matter whether their parents consent or not. 

Besides, there are some other mandatory requirements given under Florida law regarding the age requirement for marriage are:

  • The older party marrying a 17-year-old must not be more than; 2 years older than the younger ones.
  • The couple needs to furnish their social security number or valid identification proof.
  • Their respective age proof
  • A premarital preparation course is mandatory to perform either individually or together by both the parties to the marriage. The certificate of completion of these courses must be furnished to the licence issuing authority.
  • If the parties do not furnish a premarital preparation course certificate, a marriage licence date can get delayed for; 3 days. However, these rules can get compromised for foreigners or couples asserting hardship.

Thus, any person who wants to get married must meet all the mandatory conditions mentioned under these sections. 

Marriage in Florida without a licence:

Marriage is a vital aspect of Florida’s cultural norm of the society. Any person wishing to get married in Florida must obtain a valid marriage licence as stated under FLORIDA STATUTES § 741.08. No marriage; gets reckoned as a legal marriage without obtaining a valid marriage licence in Florida.

Thus, getting a marriage licence is mandatory under Florida law.

A married licence; gets obtained by applying to any county court or Clark office from any place; where you live or getting married. Both persons willing to get married must apply to the country court before; getting married or within; 10 days after the marriage ceremony. 

Before applying for a marriage licence, ensure you both have a social security number and valid identification proof ready. If any of the parties are divorced, they need to furnish proof of their divorce. 

In Florida, couples get required to furnish a premarital preparation course certificate. If they do not submit these certificates, they need to wait for 3days to get their marriage licence.

This licence remains valid for 60 days from the date of issuance. If the couple misses the deadline to get married, they need to reapply for the same.

How to annul marriages in Florida:

Florida law does not explicitly define annulment, but appellate courts have provided binding precedents to get applied in such cases. Even though it is difficult and rarely addressed under Florida law books, an annulment can be obtained in Florida.

Florida recognized several grounds or reasons for annulments. Bigamy, same-sex marriage, incestuous marriages, minor marriages, and one spouse being mentally incapacitated are some of the reasons in which a marriage is considered void and eligible for annulment. Besides, fraud, duress, misrepresentation, intoxications, and impotent spouses are some reasons marriages are considered avoidable and can get annulled.

In both cases, whether the marriage is void or voidable, you need to get a decree of annulment to legally end your marriage. Apply in the Florida circuit courts dealing with family matters for annulment. Before applying, prepare all the evidence to support your claim.

The burden of proof falls on your shoulder to prove your claim against the defendant. If the Dependant files a counterclaim to dissolve the marriage, the court can grant you a divorcé decree instead of annulments.

For this reason, consult an attorney to advise and fight your case.

The annulment in Florida does not affect your child custody case except in certain circumstances. The children from void marriages are considered illegitimate whereas the child in voidable marriages is legitimate. Voidable marriages are considered valid in the eye of law and thus, the child is legitimate.

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Editions: April and August 2022

External resources: Florida Health

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