What Are My Legal Duties for a Marriage Ceremony?
What Are My Legal Duties for a Marriage Ceremony?
This eight-point checklist keeps the basics straight for pastors.

Q: Our associate pastor was ordained recently, and is about to perform his first wedding. He is confused about the legal requirements that apply. What should he know?

A: Here is a checklist of items to consider before performing a marriage:

Am I legally qualified to perform a marriage according to the law of my state? Review your state's law on the qualifications of ministers to solemnize a marriage. If in doubt, contact your local recorder's office or the office of the attorney general for an interpretation.

Am I legally qualified to perform a marriage according to the law of another state? Ministers occasionally are asked to perform a marriage in another state. Whether you can legally will depend on the law of that state. See if you can find it online. Or contact the recorder's office for the county where the wedding will be performed. Ask if you are authorized to perform the marriage and, if so, what conditions or requirements apply.

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Posted: March 1, 2013
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