Marriage Law: Understanding Your Legal Rights and Responsibilities

Marriage is a legal union between two people, which is recognized by the government. In the United States, marriage laws vary by state, but there are some general legal principles that apply across the country. This article will provide an overview of marriage law and offer some legal advice for those considering marriage.

In order to get married, there are some legal requirements that must be met. First, both parties must be of legal age, which is 18 in most states. If one or both parties are under 18, they may be able to get married with parental consent or a court order.

Second, both parties must be legally eligible to marry. This means that they cannot be already married to someone else, and they cannot be closely related by blood. In some states, same-sex couples are also legally eligible to marry.

Third, both parties must obtain a marriage license from their state or local government. This usually requires filling out an application and providing some form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.

Marriage Rights and Responsibilities

Once a couple is married, they have certain legal rights and responsibilities. One of the most important rights is the right to make medical decisions for each other in the event of illness or injury. Married couples also have the right to inherit from each other in the absence of a will.

Married couples also have certain responsibilities, such as financial obligations. In most states, any debts or assets acquired during the marriage are considered joint property, which means both parties are responsible for them. This can include things like a mortgage, car loans, or credit card debt.

If you are considering getting married, there are some legal considerations to keep in mind. First, it is important to understand your state’s marriage laws and requirements. This can vary by state, so be sure to do your research.

Second, it is important to consider the financial implications of marriage. This includes discussing any debts or assets you may have, as well as your financial goals and expectations for the future.

Finally, it is a good idea to consult with a lawyer before getting married. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities, as well as help you draft a prenuptial agreement if necessary.


Marriage is a legal union that comes with certain rights and responsibilities. If you are considering getting married, it is important to understand your state’s marriage laws and requirements, as well as the financial implications of marriage. Consulting with a lawyer can also be helpful in ensuring that you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your marriage is legally sound and that you are prepared for any legal issues that may arise.

Thomas Elliott

Education: Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York. Pace University, White Plains, New York.
Professional Associations and Memberships: American Bar Association, New York State Bar, The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Brooklyn Bar Association, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

Rate author
Cases legal