Marriage Law North Dakota

MARRIAGE LAWS OF NORTH DAKOTA

The laws of marriage in the State of North Dakota is governed by Chapter 14-03 of the North Dakota Century Statute. As per the law of this State a marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between one man and one woman to which the consent of the parties is essential. The marriage relation may be entered into, maintained, annulled, or dissolved only as provided by law. A spouse refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

MARRIAGEABLE AGE

Any unmarried person of the age of eighteen years or upwards, and not otherwise disqualified, is capable of consenting to and consummating a marriage. If a person is between sixteen and eighteen years of age, a marriage license may not be issued without the consent of the parents or guardian, if there are any. A marriage license may not be issued to any person below the age of sixteen, notwithstanding the consent of the parents or guardian of said person.

VOID MARRIAGES

The following marriages are incestuous and void:

  1. Marriage between parents and children including grandparents and grandchildren of every degree.
  2. Marriage between brothers and sisters of the half as well as the whole blood.
  3. Marriage between uncles and nieces of the half as well as the whole blood.
  4. Marriage between aunts and nephews of the half as well as the whole blood.
  5. Marriage between first cousins of the half as well as the whole blood.

A marriage contracted by a person having a former husband or wife living, if the former marriage has not been annulled or dissolved, is illegal and void from the beginning. But such marriage contract is valid if such former husband or wife was absent and believed by such person to be dead for a period of five years immediately preceding such marriage.

PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO SOLEMNIZE MARRIAGES

Marriages may be solemnized by all judges of courts of record; municipal judges; recorders, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official; ordained ministers of the gospel; priests; clergy licensed by recognized denominations; and by any person authorized by the rituals and practices of any religious persuasion.

MARRIAGE LICENSE

Application for license

When application is made to a recorder, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official, for a marriage license, the recorder, or designated official, shall inquire of the applicant concerning the legality of the contemplated marriage. The recorder, or designated official, may examine other witnesses. The facts concerning the legality of the marriage may be submitted to the recorder, or designated official, by affidavit. The recorder, or designated official, also shall require each applicant to submit the following facts upon blanks provided by the county, together with documentary evidence of age:

An affidavit by each of the applicants showing that each is over the age of eighteen years. In addition, each applicant shall exhibit to the recorder, or designated official, a birth certificate or other satisfactory evidence of age. If either applicant is under the age of eighteen years, the recorder, or designated official, shall require the written consent of:

  1. Either parent of the minor applicant, if the parents are living together;
  2. The parent having the legal custody of the minor applicant, if the parents are not living together;
  3. The surviving parent, if one of the parents of the minor applicant is deceased; or

An affidavit showing whether either or both of the parties have been divorced. If a decree of divorce has been granted to either or both of the parties, a certified copy of the decree must be filed with the application. A license shall not be issued if it contravenes any provisions of the divorce decree.

All affidavits must be subscribed and sworn to before a person authorized to administer oaths. The recorder, or designated official, shall retain on file all papers and records pertaining to all marriage licenses.

Each application for a marriage license must contain the social security number of each applicant.

If a recorder is satisfied that there is no legal impediment to the marriage and that the applicants is complied with the provisions of law of the State, the recorder issues and sign a marriage license in duplicate and affix an official seal to both the original and the duplicate.

SOLEMNIZATION OF MARRIAGE

A person authorized to solemnize marriage, may solemnize any marriage when the parties to the marriage produce a license regularly issued not more than sixty days before the date of the marriage by:

  1. A recorder serving the county in which either of the contracting parties resides or is temporarily domiciled, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official;
  2. A recorder serving the county in which a parent of either of the parties resides or is temporarily domiciled, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official; or
  3. A recorder serving the county in which the marriage is to be solemnized, unless the board of county commissioners designates a different official.

RETURN OF LICENSE

When a person authorized by law solemnizes a marriage, that person shall fill out and sign the certificate following the license in duplicate, giving the person's official title, or if a minister of the gospel or priest, the ecclesiastical body with which the minister or priest is connected.

The original copy of the certificate and license must be returned to the official who issued the license within five days after the date of the solemnization of the marriage and the duplicate copy must be immediately delivered to the persons married. The official shall file the original copy and retain it as an official record.

MARRIAGE LICENSE FEE & FEE FOR MARRIAGE CEREMONY

For the issuance and filing of a marriage license, the recorder collects the sum of six dollars from the party applying for the license. The recorder, or designated official, shall also collect from the applicant a supplemental fee of twenty-nine dollars for aid to victims of domestic violence through the domestic violence prevention fund.

For performing a marriage ceremony during regular courthouse hours, the recorder, or designated official, shall collect a fee of thirty dollars which is to be retained by the county.

The recorder, or designated official, shall prepare a copy of the license and certificate and transmit them to the registrar of vital statistics who shall record them in a book of records kept in the registrar's office for that purpose. The registrar shall index the records and upon request shall issue certified copies of the recorded license and certificate for a one dollar fee.