The Legal and Practical Benefits of a Marriage License -

The Legal and Practical Benefits of a Marriage License

The Legal and Practical Benefits of a Marriage License

The Legal and Practical Benefits of a Marriage License

Getting married is not all about looking good and creating beautiful memories on your wedding day. Sure, it’s probably one of the milestones in anyone’s life, but bear in mind that whatever happens on that special day will be legal and binding. That legality starts with a document called a marriage license.

What Is A Marriage License?

Simply put, a marriage license is a document issued by a duly recognized authority that allows two people to get married.  However, a license alone does not prove that your marriage is already legal. Once you, your groom and your witnesses sign it, your wedding officiant will file it with your local government. This then becomes a part of the public records. You will then be furnished with a marriage certificate.

Marriage License Requirements

As stated earlier, a marriage license is not yet legal and binding. It is only a part of the entire process. You have to appear personally at a marriage licensing office and present the following requirements:

Birth certificate or any proof of your age and identity.  You can also use a driver’s license, social security ID, state ID or other documents to prove that you are of legal age. Most countries require couples to be at least 18 years old but there are some that allow couples as young as 12 to tie the knot.

Documents that prove that you are free of venereal or contagious diseases (this depends on the state or country where you’ll get married). With the rise of AIDS and other venereal and genetic diseases, some states require you to undergo blood and other lab tests to prove that you are physically fit to get married.

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Proof of the finality of a previous marriage (divorce or annulment). Are you legally separated or divorced? Then, you’ll have to show your divorce papers or inform the clerk of county of when and where your divorce or legal separation took place.

Other pertinent information that proves that you are mentally capable and are not close blood relatives. As most people know, mentally ill or first-degree cousins may produce offspring with genetic disabilities. This is the reason why you need to prove that you are neither.

Waiting period (depending on the state). Some states require you to wait for as long as one month or as in the case with Vegas weddings, never.

The Benefits of Marriage

Now you have an inkling as to what that famous marriage license is all about. But did you know that getting married has a lot of benefits too? Yes, you read it right. Aside from living and loving happily ever after (we do hope so), marriage has a lot of perks, too.

What does this paper entitle you? A lot, actually. Let’s put it this way – you and your husband look at marriage as a loving union, but the state views it as a partnership. Remember when you had to sign your marriage license in front of your witnesses? Thus, you and your husband must always consult each other before making any decision that would affect your marriage as a whole. Here are some of its benefits:

Tax benefits. As a married couple, you have the advantage to file for joint income tax returns with the IRS. This option can lower the amount of your tax while increasing your standard deductions. A word of caution though – since you’ll be filing jointly, this means you’ll both be held liable for each other’s taxes.

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Family partnership. This is one way of splitting taxes for all sources of the family’s income. One great thing about this type of partnership is that it’s not limited to husband and wife alone. Even your parents and underage children can join. The more members there are, the lower your taxes will be. That’s great savings for your family.

Right to his estates. In the event of your spouse’s death, you are entitled to a portion of your spouse’s estates with or without a written will or testament. You also get an equitable share of his property in case of a divorce.

Medical decisions. As the legal spouse, you will have the right to decide on any medical procedure that your other half will have to go through. For example, your husband cannot undergo a vasectomy if you don’t agree to it. He’ll have to ask for your consent and signature.

Visitation rights. Only you have the right to visit your husband (heaven forbid) in places where other visitors are not allowed such as jails or the intensive care unit of a hospital. You are also the only one allowed to be with your spouse during a hospital’s non-visiting hours.

Employee benefits. Employers are more lenient when it comes to granting paid leaves or absences to married employees. Thus, you can receive salary even when you are sick, a family member gets sick or dies, or when you give birth. Likewise, your husband can get the benefits of a paternal leave. Your employers can also offer pension, family health and retirement plans.

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Receiver of spouse’s benefits. As his spouse, you have the right to receive Medicare, disability, social security and veteran’s benefits. You can also file for education or special loans for you and your children. You also have the right to a dead spouse’s wages, retirement plan benefits and other forms of compensation. Just make sure that you can present a valid married license or certificate.

Huge discounts. Auto, health and insurance companies usually offer family rates that translate to big discounts. You and your spouse can even gift each other with tax-free gifts. This means that he can give you a diamond ring, a car or other expensive items without paying taxes.

Immigration and residency benefits. This enables your spouse to bring you to the foreign country where he resides. For example, if he works for a company in the United States, he can file a petition for you to join him there.

Death Benefits. As his legal spouse, only you can give consent to post-death examinations and procedures, burial and other arrangements.

Other conditions. You’ll need each other’s consent and approval in case either of you wishes to adopt a child, buy a new home or property, acquire a new business, etc.

Yes, marriage does have a lot of benefits and it all starts with a marriage license.

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About the Author: Sarah Adams

Hello from Los Angeles! My name is Sarah Adams and I love to blog. I am a bit of a social media nut that is never behind on the current trends. Staying in touch with people and trends helps to keep me sharp, and my writing even sharper.