Your affidavit of marriage will act as your sworn statement that you were validly married on the date and at the location specified. Whenever both spouses are available, we recommend that they both include their information and sign the affidavit.
To complete the affidavit, enter the current full legal name or names of the spouses involved. When entering in the addresses, be sure to use the address where the spouse currently lives.
The most important pieces of information are the date and place of marriage. Try to be as accurate as possible when entering in these items. The place of marriage is wherever the spouses signed the original certificate of marriage. In most states, there would have had to be some type of officiate at the ceremony, such as a priest or judge.
The final step is to sign the document in the presence of a notary public. If both spouses are signing, they must both sign it in the notary's presence or have it separately notarized. After that, your affidavit is complete.
Ideally, you should have your official marriage certificate tucked safely away with your other important documents, but if you cannot locate it, an affidavit of marriage can be created to use instead. An affidavit of marriage is a replacement marriage certificate that can be legally used if your original is lost. You may need to show this certificate in a variety of settings and situations, and it is legal proof that you were married. This can also be used if you are divorced but need to prove that you were married in the past. This document can also be called a joint affidavit of marriage or a marriage affidavit.
In some countries, a marriage ceremony is necessary before a couple can call themselves legally married in the traditional sense. It is different in the United States, as most states do not require this formality. The main requirements for a traditional marriage are that you be no less than 18 years old; sign a certificate of marriage in the presence of a minister, judge, or another authorized person; and obtain a marriage license from the state. These requirements apply in all 50 states, with only slight differences here and there.
However, it is not always quite as simple as that. Not all states recognize common law marriages. The states that recognize common law marriage today are Colorado, Alabama, District of Columbia, Idaho, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. Although most states do not recognize same-sex marriages in common law, this has started to change after the federal government legalized same-sex marriages.
To prove the existence of a common law marriage in the states that permit it, you need to provide evidence that you have lived together for a certain length of time, which is usually two or three years. On top of this, there is other evidence that you may need to provide, such as sharing the same surname, referring in public to each other as husband or wife, sharing bank accounts and other financial commitments, and filing joint taxation returns.
You may also need to show that you naturally formed a relationship that is equivalent to being married. If you need to provide evidence of your common law marriage, you and your partner can sign affidavits swearing that you consider yourselves married. You can also obtain similar affidavits from friends, family members, and others that can attest to you being married. Additionally, you can use any other documents you have that tend to show that you are married, including jointly owned property deeds, bank statements, credit card accounts, birth certificates of your mutual children, employment agreements, insurance policies, and mail addressed to you both in your shared last name. This can only be done in a state that approves of common law marriage. Often, you will need this affidavit when applying for a foreign visa or if you lose your marriage certificate.
Even though not all states offer the status of a common law marriage, if you have gone through the process of confirming this in a state that does accept it, all other states, whether they legally approve of common law marriage or not, have to accept your status. Once you have completed the common law marriage process you will be given the same rights and obligations as people who are traditionally married.