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No Joke: Why Prank Marriages Are Not Funny

Thinking of pulling a prank marriage?  They are not quite so funny as you may think, and require a lot more than just a straight face.  Thinking a prank marriage could never happen?  They have, in the UK, in California, in Delaware, and a variety of other places.  Here are a few reasons why prank marriages are not great ideas.

Some May Take Offense

To many people, marriage is an important, personal, or even sacred institution.  To a person to whom marriage is a serious matter, friends planning a marriage as a prank can appear callous, irritating, or even insulting.  For years to come, pranksters may find themselves quietly uninvited to friends’ and family members’ weddings, whether because individuals preparing to get married are unlikely to want marriage pranksters around or simply because they assume that those who would stage an entire pranked marriage would not be interested in devoting time and energy to taking a real marriage seriously.

Great Lengths

Marriage is not as simple as standing up before an officiant and saying “I do”, or just signing a piece of paper.  An application for a marriage license has associated fees that can top the hundreds of dollars, there is often a waiting period to get married after the application for a marriage license is submitted.  In some states, there is even required premarital testing for various illnesses.  Even aside from other costs like the wedding itself that pranksters would want to plan and display to family and friends in order to sell the ruse, staging a marriage as a prank requires participants to go to great lengths to pull it off.  A prank marriage may not be much fun once pranksters have shelled out upwards of a thousand dollars and contributed hours of their time to the cause.

It May Not Be a Prank

Perhaps most importantly, getting married as a prank can be a legal problem.  Aside from raising suspicion of fraud, there is no real requirement of intent for marriage.  The vast majority of jurisdictions do not provide annulments for prank marriages, meaning that if you get married, you will be burdened with all of the rights and obligations of married couples, including being unable to marry anyone else until such a time as you divorce.  Getting married changes credit scores, has tax implications, and gives the married individuals the right to one another’s assets.  And if you show up to a judge’s courtroom and have to explain that you are seeking a divorce because your marriage was just a prank, the judge is unlikely to be happy with you.  As a general principle, pranks and the legal or justice system do not mix terribly well.

Thinking about Marriage?

At Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, our experienced family law attorneys are available to assist you with family law and related issues.  Marriage, divorce, and separation can all be heavy and difficult issues people need to navigate, and the help of a qualified family law attorney can make things much easier, less stressful, and even less costly.  Call 561-391-9943 for a consultation today.

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