Massachusetts Law About Marriage
MGL c.207: Marriage. Particular sections of interest:
- Section 1: Marriage of Man to Certain Relatives
- Section 2: Marriage of Woman to Certain Relatives
- Section 4: Polygamy
- Section 7: Minors; Solemnization of Marriage (Prohibits marrying individuals under 18). See also, Parton v. Hervey, 67 Mass. 119 (1854) for more discussion of the marriage of minors.
- Section 14: Determination of Validity (Annulment)
- Section 24: Nonage minors; receiving of notice; prohibition (Age requirement is 18)
- Section 25: Nonage minors; authorization of marriage (Parental consent required under 18)
- Section 30: Dispensing with Three Days' Notice
Procedure to Perform (Solemnize) Marriages for Non-Resident Clergymen, Secretary of the Commonwealth.
Procedures to Perform (Solemnize) Marriages by Special One-Day Designation, Mass. Governor's Office. Use to have a friend or family member perform the ceremony.
Couples Living Together: Does Massachusetts Recognize Common-Law Marriage?, Herald News, May 6, 2013. Explains the doctrine of common law marriage and explains, "There is a common belief that if you live together for 7 years, then you are married by "common law." This is simply not accurate. Only a few states recognize "common law marriage. And, Massachusetts is not one of them. (The closest state to us that does is Rhode Island)."
Fiance & Marriage Visas: A Couple's Guide to U.S. Immigration, Nolo, 2012. Includes information on visas, green cards, income requirements, preparing the paperwork and more. Requires Library Card for access.
How to Get Married in Massachusetts, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), May 2009. "Sets forth the details for the process for marrying in Massachusetts – who can marry, how you get a license, what you need to bring with you, the waiting period, and who can perform the ceremony." Written for same-sex couples, but the procedures are identical for all couples. Clear detailed information.
If I want to use a new surname after my marriage, how should I change my name?, GLAD. Describes the process and benefits of changing your name when applying for a marriage license.
Justices of the Peace: Summary of Duties, Office of the Governor's Legal Counsel. This "is a short summary of the primary duties performed by Justices of the Peace in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is by no means a complete list, but is meant to be a general guide to help justices obtain a sense of the varied responsibilities and functions that their commissions entail."
Massachusetts Marriage License Laws, About.com.
Obtaining Copies of Vital Records, Mass. Registry of Vital Records. Information on getting copies of marriage records.
Premarital Agreement Law in Massachusetts, Charles P. Kindregan, December 3, 2012."traces the various court interpretations up to the present, which in a series of decisions have made enforcement easier when the waiver is express, the agreement is fair and reasonable when made, and not unconscionable when enforcement of an agreement is sought."
State Laws Regarding Marriages Between First Cousins, National Conference of State Legislatures. Chart of state laws regarding cousin marriage. Massachusetts is one of nineteen states allowing first cousins to marry.