New Florida Marriage License Law
There is a new Florida marriage license law! Well, not so much new as amended. The Florida Legislature has just amended Florida Statute 741.04. The new Florida marriage license law provides that neither a county court judge or a circuit court clerk (family law cases are generally heard in circuit court, though marriage licenses may be obtained in both county and circuit court) has the legal power to issue a marriage license to a minor (in Florida, a minor is someone under the age of eighteen that has not reached the age of majority (18)) unless certain LIMITED/NARROW exceptions apply, all of which must be met for the Court to grant a marriage license to a minor or minors. Maybe a premarital preparation course is in order!
New Florida Marriage License Law Exceptions
These exceptions are: 1. If both potential spouses are at least seventeen years of age, and the minors furnish the Court with the written consent of their parents or legal guardians (probably should be in the form of a notarized affidavit). If one potential spouse is of the age of majority, that person may not be older than 19 years of age (no more than 2 years older than the other, younger, potential spouse).
2. The new Florida marriage license law also makes it clear that the potential spouses must file an affidavit providing for their social security numbers (certain exclusions apply for non-citizens that will be addressed in a future article) and an attestation of their true age. This prevents the Court from being unable to enforce child support and from committing a grievous error should the potential spouses falsify their true ages. This also protects the Court from issuing a marriage license to improper parties.
Premarital Preparation Course
Exception 3. provides that neither the Court nor the Clerk may issue a marriage license to a minor unless two additional protocols are followed to the letter. The parties must provide a written statement (individually or together, though if the couple intends to marry, it is likely they will file this statement together) affirming they have completed a premarital preparation course.
4. Finally, the parties must also attest to the fact they have read the handbook regarding the rights and responsibilities of a party/parties to a marriage as provided in Florida Statute 741.0306. Pursuant to F.S. 741.0306, These handbooks are available from the clerks of court when a couple applies for a marriage license.