Alabama Marriage

Alabama marriage laws require couples to have a valid license to get married in the state. Age requirements also apply. Generally, males and females may legally marry in Alabama at the age of 18 without parental consent. With parental consent, you can get married at the age of 16, but other statutory requirements may apply. Learn more about Alabama marriage laws in our free legal guide below.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Alabama marriage laws require couples to have a valid license to get married in Alabama. Age requirements also apply. Couples can seek recognition as a married couple under common law if they have not been formally married. The criteria for an Alabama common law marriage is set out below.

What are Alabama marriage consent laws?

  • With Parental Consent: Generally, males and females may marry in Alabama at the age of 16 with parental consent. Other statutory requirements apply.
  • Without Parental Consent: Generally, males and females may legally marry in Alabama at the age of 18 without parental consent.

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What is Alabama common law marriage?

The state of Alabama recognizes common law marriages and will deem a man and woman married if they: 1) hold themselves out to be married (i.e. tell others that they are married, use the same last name, call each other husband and wife, file joint tax returns, etc.); 2) have the capacity to marry (the mental ability to agree to the marriage – the ability to understand the nature of marriage and a spouse’s responsibility towards his or her partner once the marriage has been entered into); 3) an agreement to be husband and wife, and 4) consummated the marital relationship.

What are Alabama marriage license requirements?

Effective August 29, 2019, the process for entering into a legal marriage in Alabama changed. Under Alabama Act 2019-340, those who wish to marry will no longer apply for a marriage license with the county probate court, and the courts will no longer issue them. The probate judge will instead ask for notarized forms completed by couples as an official record of marriage. The provided form must be completed and notarized before being delivered back to the Probate office. The probate judges would then record, but not issue the license.

The marriage becomes legal when the probate court records the completed marriage certificate form (a contractual agreement between the parties to the marriage, completed by both parties and given to the probate court for recording.

Parties may perform a wedding ceremony, but the ceremony will no longer be required for a recognized marriage in Alabama. The elimination of marriage licenses will not affect any other aspects of marriage in Alabama, including couple divorce, spousal support, child support, and child custody. Moreover, all Alabama probate courts will now be obliged to record marriage certificates.

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