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Home > Arkansas > Marriage Law
Marriage Law Arkansas
MARRIAGE LAW ARKANSAS
 
Marriage law in Arkansas is governed by the Title 9 Family Law Chapter 11 of the Arkansas Code
 
As per the law of the marriage is a civil contract to which the consent of the parties, capable in law of contracting is necessary.
 
VOID MARRIAGES
 
All marriages between parents and children, including grandparents and grandchildren of every degree, between brothers and sisters of the half as well as the whole blood, and between uncles and nieces, and between aunts and nephews, and between first cousins are declared to be incestuous and absolutely void. This is also extended to illegitimate children and relations.
 
A marriage between persons of the same sex is void.
 
PRESUMPTION OF SPOUSE'S DEATH- VALIDITY OF SUBSEQUENT MARRIAGE
 
In cases where any husband abandons his wife, or a wife her husband, and resides beyond the limits of this state for the term of five successive years, without being known to the other spouse to be living during that time, the abandoning party's death shall be presumed.
 
Any subsequent marriage entered into after the end of the five (5) years shall be as valid as if the husband or wife were dead.
 
LICENSE
 
The persons contracting marriage in Arkansas need to first obtain a license from the clerk of the county court of some county in this state.
 
REQUIREMENT FOR LICENSE
 
Age
 
As per the law of the State every male who has arrived at the full age of seventeen (17) years and every female who has arrived at the full age of sixteen (16) years shall be capable in law of contracting marriage.
 
However, males and females under the age of eighteen (18) years shall furnish the clerk, before the marriage license can be issued, satisfactory evidence of the consent of the parent or parents or guardian to the marriage. The consent of both parents of each contracting party shall be necessary before the marriage license is to be issued by the clerk.
 
ID Requirement
 
Picture id such as Drivers License, and Birth Certificate. If no Birth Certificate is available, 3 forms of identification with name and birth date available on the document may be submitted.
 
Bond of applicant
 
Any person applying for a license is required to enter into bond to the State of Arkansas in the penal sum of one hundred dollars ($100) for the use of and benefit of the general fund of the county to ensure that the parties applying have a lawful right to the license and that they will faithfully carry into effect and comply with the provisions of this act.
 
The bond shall be void when the license is duly returned to the office of the county clerk, duly executed and officially signed by someone authorized by law to solemnize the rites of matrimony.
 
Fees
 
A fee of $35 in cash to be paid to the county clerk at the time of applying for marriage license.
 
ISSUANCE OF MARRIAGE LICENSE
 
The clerks of the county courts of the several counties in this state shall furnish the license upon:
  1. Application's being made;
  2. Being fully assured that applicants are lawfully entitled to the license; and
  3. Receipt of his or her fee.
NOTICE OF INTENTION TO WED
 
A marriage license may not be issued by the clerks without a notice of intention to wed have been signed by both of the applicants applying for the marriage license and filed with the county clerk where the license is obtained.
 
The notice shall state the name, age, and address of both parties desiring to wed. The county clerk shall verify the age of both parties and may treat birth certificates as prima facie proof of age.
 
The county clerk may destroy the notice of intention to wed one (1) year after the date of its issuance.
 
VALIDITY
 
The marriage license is valid for 60 days. The license can only be used within the State of Arkansas.
 
MARRIAGE CONTRACTS
 
The marriage contracts is an instrument in writing and acknowledged by each of the contracting parties or proved by one or more subscribing witnesses, intended to secure or convey any estate, real or personal to any person.
 
PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO SOLEMNIZE MARRIAGES
 
As per the Code, marriage for the purpose of being registered and perpetuating the evidence thereof, must be solemnized only by the following persons:
  1. The Governor;
  2. Any former justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court;
  3. Any judges of the courts of record within this state, including any former judge of a court of record who served at least four (4) years or more;
  4. Any justice of the peace of the county where the marriage is solemnized, including any former justice of the peace who served at least three (3) terms since the passage of Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 55;
  5. Any regularly ordained minister or priest of any religious sect or denomination;
  6. The mayor of any city or town;
  7. Any official appointed for that purpose by the quorum court of the county where the marriage is to be solemnized; or
  8. Any elected district court judge and any former municipal or district court judge who served at least four (4) years.
Marriages solemnized through the traditional rite of the Religious Society of Friends, more commonly known as Quakers, are recognized as valid to all intents and purposes the same as marriages otherwise contracted and solemnized in accordance with law.
 
In the case of marriages solemnized through the traditional marriage rite of the Religious Society of Friends shall be incumbent upon the clerk of the congregation or, in his or her absence, his or her duly designated alternate.
 
MARRIAGE CEREMONY AND ISSUANCE OF CERTIFICATE
 
When marriages are solemnized by a minister of the gospel or priest, the ceremony shall be according to the forms and customs of the church or society to which he or she belongs. When solemnized by a civil officer, the form observed shall be the one the officer deems most appropriate.
 
The marriage license must be completed by the minister and returned to the county clerk within 60 days from the date the license was issued.
 
Upon the return of any license officially signed as having been executed and that the parties therein named have been duly and according to law joined in marriage, the clerk issuing the license shall make a record thereof in the marriage record in his or her office.
The clerk shall immediately make out a certificate of the record, giving the names, date, book, and page, together with the name of the county and state, and attach the certificate to the license and return the license to the party presenting it.
 
The certificate shall be signed officially by the clerk and sealed with the county seal.


 
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