Marriage entails a lot of preparation. But before getting into major wedding plans, every couple must first ensure that they will comply with state requirements for the union to be considered legal. Marriage in all states is deemed as legal only when a license has been obtained.
The requirements for obtaining a marriage license vary from one state to another. In New Mexico, the law delineates two basic procedural requirements that couples contemplating marriage need to meet: obtaining a marriage license and solemnization.
Applying for a marriage license in New Mexico has to start at the county clerk‘s office. No other official is allowed to process the application and issue a marriage license. Both parties must be physically present at the clerk’s office to sign the license. Both must be at least 18 years old and present the following items:
- a valid photo identification card or a birth certificate;
- evidence of his or her Social Security number; and
- payment of $25 in cash.
Each person must also be eligible to marry. The county clerk does not issue marriage licenses to minors. Consent from parents is required for applicants who are 16 or 17 years old. When an applicant is younger than 16, a court order is necessary to authorize the marriage.
Blood tests are not required in New Mexico.
Once all requirements are met and the fee has been paid in cash, the marriage license is issued. This license must then be presented for solemnization in a matrimonial ceremony.
Solemnization is when each party indicates his or her intent to marry. However, the parties cannot do this on their own. Rather, solemnization is only valid when done by persons who are legally vested with the authority to do so. These individuals include clergies and ministers who have been duly ordained, priests from any religious groups, civil magistrates, or authorized representative of tribes that are federally recognized.
When all parties have affixed signatures after solemnization, the marriage license must be returned to the county clerk’s office for recording and indexing. The couple is given a 90-day allowance from the date of wedding ceremony to turn in the license. This is the final step that a couple has to comply with to have their marriage license deemed valid.
An experienced New Mexico family lawyer can help you understand all issues that pertain to family law. If you have questions, contact the Lightning Legal Group today. We provide trusted legal advice and counsel to people in some of the most sensitive areas of their lives. Call us today at (505) 247-2390 to learn more.