Walton Probate Court Marriage License Requirements
Marriage is a significant milestone in one’s life, and the process leading up to it involves various legal requirements. Obtaining a marriage license is a crucial step, and understanding the associated fees and prerequisites is essential to ensure a smooth journey towards matrimony. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of marriage license fees in Georgia, shedding light on the costs, requirements, and essential information you need to know.
Marriage is a union of hearts and souls, but it also entails certain legal procedures that must be followed. One such procedure is obtaining a marriage license. This license serves as evidence of your intent to marry and is a necessary document to make your marriage official in the eyes of the law. It’s important to understand the process, fees, and requirements associated with obtaining a marriage license to ensure your big day goes off without a hitch.
Marriage License Application Process
Before you say “I do,” there are several steps you need to take to secure your marriage license. These steps include providing valid identification for both applicants, addressing translation requirements for non-English speakers, and documenting previous marriages or their absence.
Each applicant must provide valid identification to apply for a marriage license. Accepted forms of identification include:
- Drivers License
- State ID
- Resident Alien ID
- Military ID
Translation for Non-English Speakers
If either applicant does not speak fluent English, a Court Approved Translator is required during the application process. This ensures that both parties fully comprehend the legal implications of the marriage.
Documentation for Previously Married Individuals
If either applicant has been previously married, certified copies of divorce papers or a death certificate must be provided to verify the termination of the previous marriage.
The Marriage Application Fee
Obtaining a marriage license comes with a fee, which varies depending on specific factors.
The standard application fee is $56. This applies when neither applicant has completed pre-marital counseling.
Reduced Fee with Pre-Marital Counseling
Couples who complete pre-marital counseling can benefit from a reduced fee of $16 for the marriage license application. This fee reduction is contingent on providing a certificate of completion for the counseling course.
Contacting Your Local Probate Court
To ensure you have all the necessary information and to understand the specific requirements of your locality, it’s recommended to contact your local Walton County Probate Court well in advance of your wedding day.
Accepted Forms of Identification
Several forms of identification are accepted when applying for a marriage license. These include birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, selective service cards, court records, passports, immigration papers, alien papers, citizenship papers, armed forces discharge papers, armed forces identification cards, and hospital admission cards containing the full name and date of birth.
Waiting Period and Residency Requirements
Unlike some states, there is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia. Additionally, you do not have to be a resident of Georgia to obtain a marriage license.
Previous Marriages and Their Impact
If either applicant has previously been married, a copy of the final judgment and decree of the most recent divorce is required. This document must show the judge’s signature and the date the divorce was granted.
Exploring Marriage License Fees
Understanding the fees associated with obtaining a marriage license is crucial. The following are the fees applicable in Walton County, Georgia.
Without Pre-Marital Education
The standard fee for obtaining a marriage license without completing pre-marital counseling is $56.
With Pre-Marital Education
Couples who opt for pre-marital counseling can take advantage of a reduced fee of $16 for the marriage license application. This fee reduction is applicable upon presentation of a certificate of completion from an approved counseling course.
In addition to the marriage license fee, there is a $10 charge for the certified copy of the marriage license. This copy is typically mailed to the applicants after the marriage is recorded. There is also a $10 fee for the certified copy of the license application for the Social Security Administration.
Proxy Marriages: What You Need to Know
Proxy marriages, where one or both parties are not physically present during the ceremony, are not permitted in Georgia.
Cousins Marrying in Georgia
Georgia law allows first and second cousins to legally marry.
Common Law Marriages: Recognition and Limitations
Common-law marriages established before January 1, 1997, are recognized in Georgia.
The Evolution of Marriage Blood Tests
As of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for obtaining a marriage license in Georgia.
Name Change After Marriage
Georgia law mandates that applicants designate the legal surname they will use after marriage. Options include retaining the present surname, using a previous married name, adopting the spouse’s surname, or a combination of the two.
Age Requirements for Marriage
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a marriage license without parental consent. For individuals aged 16 or 17, a license may be issued with the written consent of their parent or parents.
Proof of Age: Documentation Needed
Georgia law requires proof of age to be presented at the time of application. Acceptable documents include birth certificates, driver’s licenses, baptismal certificates, court records, passports, and more.
Marriage Officiants and Witnesses
Licensed or ordained ministers, clergymen, pastors of recognized religious societies, and justices of the peace can officiate marriages in Georgia. If the officiant does not complete the marriage certificate, two witnesses are required.
Expiration and Online Application
Georgia marriage licenses do not have an expiration date. Couples can conveniently apply for their marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
Obtaining a Copy of Your Marriage Certificate
If you need a copy of your marriage certificate, you can obtain it from the Vital Records office in Atlanta, Georgia.
Obtaining a marriage license involves understanding various legal requirements, including fees, documentation, and specific procedures. By following the guidelines provided by your local probate court and being aware of the information outlined in this article, you can ensure a smooth and successful journey toward obtaining your marriage license and embarking on a lifelong journey of love and partnership.
- Can I apply for a marriage license online in Georgia? Yes, you can apply for a marriage license online through the Georgia Probate Record website.
- Are blood tests required for marriage license applications? No, as of July 1, 2003, blood tests are no longer required for obtaining a marriage license in Georgia.
- Is there a waiting period for marriage in Georgia? No, there is no waiting period for getting married in Georgia.
- What if I need to change my name after marriage? If you wish to change your name after marriage, you can use an online marriage name change kit.
- Can proxy marriages be conducted in Georgia? No, proxy marriages, where one or both parties are not physically present during the ceremony, are not allowed in Georgia.