Marriage

Marriage Frequently Asked Questions

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Click here to find specific information pertaining to your county, including office locations and hours.

Click here for information if you are already married or wonder about things to consider after you are married

Click here for information if you have quesions regarding marriage to someone that is not a U.S. Citizen

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Q: Can my partner and I get married the same day that we apply for a license?

A: If either partner is a Florida resident there is a three-day delay in the effective date of the marriage license. Couples can get the waiting period waived if they participate in a premarital preparation course meeting the requirements specified in law and whose provider is registered with the Clerk.

Otherwise exceptions to the three day waiting period must be granted for individuals asserting hardship by a county court judge.

If only one member of the couple is a Florida resident, the couple must complete a premarital counseling course to waive the waiting period.

There is no waiting period for couples from out of state.

Q: How can we waive the waiting period for the issuance of a marriage license?

A: The waiting period will be waived if the couple completes a premarital counseling course of not less than 4 hours taught by a provider who has been approved by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

The course may be completed by personal instruction or by video/electronic instruction. Providers must furnish a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the course, to be submitted to the Clerk's Office when applying for a marriage license. For those couples who voluntarily complete this premarital preparation course, the state offers a reduced marriage license fee and no waiting period.

Some Counties decided to waive this waiting period for same-sex couples who applied for marriage licenses just after the ban was lifted, asserting that the delay these couples have had to endure constitutes legal "hardship." All same-sex and opposite-sex couples are now subject to the same three-day waiting period in order to obtain a marriage license. A county judge can always waive the three-day waiting period for good cause and by asserting hardship.

For a list of premarital course providers across the state, click here.

NOTE: For additional information about the premarital preparation course and providers in your area, to view the family law handbook, or to confirm that a provider is certified in your county, please contact the Clerk in your county.isit your County Clerk of Court’s page for specific information pertaining to your county, including office locations, hours, and additional information specific to your county.

Q: We were married out of state but live in Florida. Do we need to marry again in Florida for the state to recognize our marriage?

A: No. If you were legally married in another state or country, you do not need to marry again in Florida. Since January 6th, 2015, your marriage has been legally recognizable and valid in Florida. To obtain certain benefits, however, such as applying for Social Security benefits or adding your spouse to your health insurance plan, you will need to take action and submit paperwork, just as a different-sex couple would be required to do. The process for doing so will be the same as for a different-sex couple.

For more information regarding the recognition of your out-of-state marriage, click here.

Q: Where is my County Clerk’s office?

For the address and phone number of Florida’s 67 County Clerks of Court, click here.

Q: Can I get a license in a different county than where I live?

Yes. A Florida marriage license can be issued by any county, regardless of where you or your partner reside.

Q: What forms of identification do I need?

You should bring two forms of identification. One form of identification required is an valid photo identification issued by the Federal or State government. The photo identification must have the correct legal name, date of birth, and signature of the applicant.

The following valid proofs of photo identifications are accepted:

·   Driver's License (U.S. State or Government)

·   Passport

·   U.S. Military identification

·   State Identification Card (U.S. State or Government)

·   Alien Registration Card

All U.S. citizens and residents must provide their Social Security Number. Non-U.S. Citizens may provide one of the following valid Identifications: Alien Registration Card, US State issued Driver's License, or Passport if they do not have a Social Security Number. Contact your clerk office for alternative options if you do not have the above documents.

Q: Do both persons have to appear in the county clerk’s office to obtain the license?

Generally the answer is yes. If one of the persons to be married is not able to go to the clerk’s office because of illness or other reason, he or she should contact the clerk to see if special arrangements can be made.

Q: What is the county/state fee for obtaining a marriage license?

A: The marriage license fee is $93.50. There is a reduction for all couples who complete the premarital preparation course, making the marriage license cost $61.00 for these couples.

Q: What if I have been married before?

A: If either applicant has been previously married, the exact date of the last divorce, death, or annulment must be provided. In some counties, proof of how the last marriage terminated must be present e.g., divorce decree or death certificate.

Q: For how long are marriage licenses valid?

A:  Marriage licenses can be used within the State for up to 60 days after they were issued. They must be returned to the Clerk's Office where they were issued within 10 days after the marriage is performed.

Q: Who can officiate my wedding?

A: According to Florida law, “All regularly ordained ministers of the gospel or elders in communion with some church, or other ordained clergy, and all judicial officers, including retired judicial officers, clerks of the circuit courts, and notaries public of this state” may perform a marriage. To find a regularly-updated list of officiants available to perform weddings, click here.

Q: What if my county courthouse will not perform my wedding ceremony?

 

If your county courthouse has stopped performing marriages for all couples, both same-sex and opposite-sex, or if your county refuses to perform marriages only for same-sex couples, you should contact us immediately at (813) 870-3735. As noted above, there are a variety of people who can officiate weddings in the state and you can be married in a different county than the county that issued your marriage license.

Q: What if the clerk at my county turns me away or is not ready to issue licenses to same-sex couples as soon as the stay expires?

A: All clerks are legally obligated to stop enforcing the ban on marriage for same-sex couples that a federal court has held as unconstitutional. On January 1st, 2015, Judge Hinkle confirmed his original ruling as binding statewide on all 67 Clerks in Florida.

If your county clerk will not provide you a license, you can go to another Florida County to get a license. Please contact us immediately at (813) 870-3735 if you encounter a problem at your County Clerk’s office.

Q: If I so choose, how do I legally change my name?

A: The State of Florida should now honor the use of out-of-state marriage certificates and Florida marriage certificates in order to legally change your name on your driver's license and Social Security card, so you can bring your marriage certificate to your local DMV office and local Social Security office starting January 6th.

Q: Will my marriage impact my eligibility to receive social services based on income?

A: Possibly. You should take some time to consider what impact your new household income may have in the determination of eligibility for access to various social service programs such as Medicaid, Ryan White, tax subsidies available through Affordable Care Act Marketplace health plans, and other programs. You should also consider your liabilities as a couple: student loans, credit card debt, judgements, etc. For more specific information regarding your situation, you may want to consult a lawyer or financial advisor.

Q: What are my rights with respect to my partner's children?

A: Being married doesn't automatically give you parental rights for your spouse's child. If your spouse has children already, and you and your spouse wish to exercise co-parental rights over the children, you need a stepparent adoption to obtain those rights. If you are married and planning to have children, you will benefit from a legal presumption that you are the legal parent of that child born into the marriage. However, the consensus among attorneys and activists doing legal work with LGBT families is that this presumption could be challenged in court in the event the marriage is dissolved. It is prudent to take the legal steps necessary to obtain legal recognition of the joint desire to co-parent the children born during the marriage and do a second parent adoption, which we also refer to as a confirmatory adoption since it is confirming the parental rights which ought to exist.

Click here for information if you are already married in another jurisdiction