Marriage is a relationship that is officially recognized and regulated by state law. It may only be created by following the steps required by the state or by Court order. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about marriage:
At what age may I get married?
You must be at least 15 years old to get married in Utah. However, if you are younger that 18 years old, you will need permission:
- If you are 16 to 18 years old, you need permission from a parent or guardian.
- If you are 15 years old, you need the permission of a judge.
Once you have been married, you do not need permission to marry again, even if you are still younger than 18.
Who may I marry?
In general, you may marry anyone you want who meets all these same requirements that you must meet (i.e., they are old enough or have the required permission). However, there are some exceptions:
- You cannot marry a first cousin or anyone more closely related to you than that.
- Note: there are a few exceptions to this rule such as if you are 65 or older, you may marry a first cousin.
- You cannot be married to more than one person at the same time.
Do I need a marriage license?
Yes. You will need a marriage license before you may get married. You may obtain a marriage license from any county clerk. You may obtain a license up to 30 days prior to the marriage.
Who may perform the marriage?
Only those who are authorized by law may perform a marriage. Generally, only a religious or governmental official has that authority. Some examples of religious officials include, a minister, rabbi, priest, bishop, or a Native American spiritual advisor. Some examples of a government official include the governor, a mayor, a judge and some members of the legislature. Those authorized to perform marriages should know that they are authorized so you should be sure and ask to make sure.
May I marry more than one person?
Yes, but you cannot legally marry or be married to more than one person at a time.
What if I was never officially married? May I still have my relationship recognized as a marriage?
Yes, but there are several requirements. If you have lived with another person as if you were married, but never officially married (commonly known as a “common law marriage”), your relationship may be recognized as a marriage, but only through the Courts. In addition, the recognition by the court must take place during the relationship or within one (1) year of the end of the relationship. In order for the Court to recognize your marriage, it must find the following existed:
- When the relationship started, both you and your partner met all the requirements listed above (i.e., you both were old enough to get married, had any required permission, etc.);
- You both took on the typical responsibilities and duties involved in a marriage, such as living together, etc.; and
- You both acted as if you were married to the extent that those who knew you thought you were married.
What if I got married out of the state of Utah?
Utah will recognize a marriage from another state so long as you met the marriage requirements of that state AND you have not violated any Utah laws (you married someone of closely related to you or you were younger than 14, etc.)The information in this site is not intended as legal advice.
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