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Bits and Pieces: Premarital Obligations for Marriage Licenses

Engaged partners are often surprised to find that there are procedural obligations that must be fulfilled prior to marriage, including receiving licenses, waiting periods, and even, potentially, blood tests. What are Florida’s laws on these issues? Here are the bits and pieces couples looking to marry must take care of before tying the knot officially:

Waiting Periods

In many states, there is a mandatory waiting period before marriage required by law. The waiting period takes place between applying for and receiving the marriage license, and is obligatory for couples looking to be married, but there can also be an additional waiting period required, which takes place after the couple has received the license but before they can legally be wed. The waiting periods are required to attempt to chill couples from making spur-of-the-moment marriage decisions. South Carolina, Kansas, New Jersey, Louisiana, and New York are just some of the states with waiting period requirements.

What Is Florida’s Law?

In Florida, couples must wait three days between applying for their marriage license and receiving it in order to get married, unless the couple attends a marriage preparation class as provided for by statute (taking a marriage preparation class in Florida also reduces the fee charged for a marriage license).

Blood Tests

Required blood tests for marriage are other obligations intended to take place prior to marriage. The rationale for blood tests is to check partners for venereal or other transmittable or heritable diseases like measles that previously posed a threat to local populations. For instance, the state of New York still requires some individuals applying for marriage licenses to be tested for sickle-cell anemia, and the state of Montana requires women to be tested for measles before marriage.

What Is Florida’s Law?

In Florida, there are currently no required blood tests prior to marriage. Of course, it is still advisable for spouses to familiarize one another with any transmittable or hereditary conditions they may have.

License Expiration

Once the marriage license is issued, engaged couples must marry before the license expires (if the license expires at all). Marriage licenses can expire anytime from 20 days to a full year from the time of issuance, depending on the state. If a couple fails to marry within the window, they will have to request a new one, a potentially financially costly mistake; marriage licenses costs can be substantial for some couples.

What Is Florida’s Law?

In Florida, couples can marry immediately after receiving their marriage license and must do so within 60 days. If the couple does not marry within 60 days from receiving their license, the license will have expired.

Issues of law and legal obligations that arise prior to marriage can surprise unsuspecting couples that do not anticipate having to navigate the county court or clerk’s office or the law’s requirements. If you are dealing with these or other family law issues, Schwartz | White can assist you. Call 561-391-9943 today to schedule a consultation with our Boca Raton attorneys.

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