WHAT IS A MARRIAGE RECORD?
A MARRIAGE RECORD is essentially just that, a recordation of a marriage. Once the official at the marital ceremony signs and submits the MARRIAGE LICENSE the clerk of the City or County in which the nuptuals were performed will file the license and mail a CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE REGISTRATION to the marital domicile on record. Upon the filing of the MARRIAGE LICENSE by the clerk the marriage is essentially finalized and a part of the public record.
As a part of the public record the MARRIAGE RECORD can be accessed and viewed by the public at large. The existence of a MARRIAGE RECORD performs a number of functions which include: notification to others of the marriage, the prevention of bigamy, verification by tax authorities, etc.
WHAT INFORMATION IS CONTAINED IN A MARRIAGE RECORD?
As with any other matter dealing with marriage, family law, and domestic relations the rules and regulations concerning these matters are left to the States and as such there are differing requirements on what must be included in the MARRIAGE RECORD. Most common among the requirements are the marital status, name and birthplace of the husband and wife, history, location and time of the marriage; and marriage license and/or filing numbers.
HOW DO I ACCESS A MARRIAGE RECORD?
There are essentially two (2) types of MARRIAGE RECORDS that may be obtained. The first is an UNCERTIFIED COPY OF THE MARRIAGE RECORD. This record is available to the public and may be accessed through government web sites, the clerk’s office of the City or County where the marriage was performed, or through a number of agencies that specify in paid research.
The second type of MARRIAGE RECORD is the CERTIFIED MARRIAGE RECORD. This type of record is an official document that will normally have a raised seal and signed by an official in charge of MARITAL RECORDS. These records are the ONLY type of MARRIAGE RECORD that have legal significance and are often used to change surnames, receive marital benefits, proof of marriage in insurance disputes and a number of other legal issues.
In order to obtain a CERTIFIED MARRIAGE RECORD one must be either:
• The person of record on the certificate
• The spouse, parent, sibling, or child of the person on the record
• A person authorized, in writing, by the person on the record to obtain the record
• A person who can show that the record is required to protect a specific right
This last specification often comes into play when there are disputes in intestacy cases such as when a spouse dies and it is essential that documentation be shown that there was a marriage existing at the time so that the surviving spouse can be entitled to their marital share of the assets of the estate.
A MARRIAGE RECORD can be requested by person, by mail, fax or a number of other ways. Even though it is a free public record most jurisdictions require a small fee due at the request of the record.