MARRIAGE LICENSING

IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF COCHISE – OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT

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GENERAL REQUIREMENTS:

The applicants must appear in person if they wish to apply for a “standard” marriage license or a “covenant” marriage license, unless applying for the license by mail (see separate procedure).

A marriage license shall be signed by both persons married, two of the witnesses to the marriage ceremony and the person who solemnized the marriage. The person solemnizing the rites of matrimony shall endorse the act of solemnization on the license and shall return the license to the clerk within thirty days after the solemnization (ref ARS §§ 25-123 and 25-128A3).

 

CONSENT REQUIRED FOR MARRIAGE OF MINORS (ARS § 25-102)

A.  A person who is at least 16 years of age and who is under 18 years of age may marry only if one of the following is true:

  1. The applicant has received an emancipation order pursuant to Title 12, Chapter 15, or from a court in another state and the person’s prospective spouse is not more than three years older the applicant.

  2. The parent or guardian who has custody of the person consents to the marriage and the person’s prospective spouse is not more than three years older than the person.

B.   Persons who are under the age of 16 shall not marry.

Persons who wish to marry shall apply to the clerk of the superior court for a license and shall complete and sign under oath an affidavit provided by the clerk that states each applicant’s name, age and residential address.  The deputy clerk who prepares the affidavit shall advise the parties to carefully review the information printed on the affidavit for any error before the license is finalized.

The fee for issuance of a marriage license is at present $83.00 (2019), which may be collected in the form of cash, money order or credit card (small fee).  The license is valid throughout the state for a period of one year.

 

COVENANT MARRIAGE (ARS §25-901)

Persons who have the legal capacity to marry pursuant to this title may enter into a covenant marriage by declaring their intent to do so on their application for a license obtained pursuant to ARS § 25-121, and by complying with the requirements of this chapter.

A.  A declaration of intent to enter into a covenant marriage shall contain all of the following:

  1. The following written statement:

    A Covenant Marriage

    We solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife for as long as they both live.  We have chosen each other carefully and have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes and responsibilities of marriage.  We understand that a covenant marriage is for life.  If we experience marital difficulties, we omit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling. With full knowledge of what this commitment means, we do declare that our marriage will be bound by Arizona law on covenant marriages and we promise to love, honor and care for one another as husband and wife for the rest of our lives.

  2. An affidavit by the parties that they have received premarital counseling from a member of the clergy or from a marriage counselor. Premarital counseling shall include a discussion of the seriousness of covenant marriage, communication of the fact that a covenant marriage is a commitment for life, a discussion of the obligation to seek marital counseling in times of marital difficulties and a discussion of the exclusive grounds for legally terminating a covenant marriage by dissolution of marriage or legal separation.

  3. The signatures of both parties must be witnessed by a court clerk.

 

B.  A notarized attestation that is signed by the clergy or counselor must be submitted with the application for a license and shall confirm that the parties were counseled as to the nature and purpose of the marriage and the grounds for its termination and that the counselor provided to the parties the informational pamphlet developed by the supreme court pursuant to this chapter. The clerk shall document that the attestation was submitted.

 

EXISTING MARRIAGES; COBVERSION TO COVENANT MARRIAGE (ARS § 25-902)

A husband and wife may enter into a covenant marriage by submitting to the clerk of the superior court or any other official designated by the clerk pursuant to ARS § 25-126 or 25-127 the declaration prescribed in ARS § 25-901, subsection B, paragraphs 1 and 3 and a sworn statement of their names and the date and place their marriage was contracted and by paying the fee prescribed.  The clerk shall file all documentation required by this section and shall issue to the husband and wife a certificate that documents the conversion.  A husband and wife who apply for a covenant marriage conversion under this section are not required to receive premarital counseling required by ARS 25-901 and are not required to have the converted covenant marriage separately solemnized.  Conversion to a covenant marriage does not make valid a marriage that is prohibited pursuant to this title or that is not validly contracted in this state.

 

ABSTRACT OF MARRIAGE (ARS § 25-130)

The clerk of the superior court may produce an abstract of marriage in lieu of a reproduction of the recorded marriage license.  An abstract of marriage shall include the legal name of the bride prior to the marriage, the name of the groom, the date of the marriage and the date on which the marriage was recorded.

 

RECORDING LICENSES; ENDORSEMENT OF SOLEMNIZATION, RECORDING RETURN; LOST LICENSES (ARS § 25-123)
 

A.  The clerk of the superior court shall maintain a record of all marriage licenses issued.

B.  The person solemnizing the rites of matrimony shall endorse the act of solemnization on the license and shall return the license to the clerk within thirty days after the solemnization. The returned marriage license shall be recorded by the clerk.

C.  If a marriage license is lost before the endorsement of solemnization, the persons who wish to marry shall reapply to the clerk for a marriage license pursuant to ARS § 25-121 and pay a fee pursuant to ARS § 12-284.

D.  If the license that bears the endorsement of solemnization is lost, the clerk shall issue a replacement license that must be signed by the person who solemnized the marriage, the persons married and two of the witnesses to the marriage ceremony. The signed replacement license shall be returned to the clerk who shall record the license. If the persons married are unable to obtain all of the required signatures, either of them or their representative may apply to the superior court for an order to authorize the issuance of a duplicate endorsed marriage license. The application shall be by a sworn statement that describes the circumstances of the marriage ceremony and that contains the notarized signatures of the applicant and, if possible, both persons married, the person who solemnized the marriage and at least two witnesses to the marriage ceremony.If the application is submitted by a representative, the court shall determine if the representative is an appropriate requesting party. Pursuant to a court order, the clerk shall issue and record a duplicate endorsed marriage license.The court shall not charge a fee for the application or for issuing or recording the duplicate endorsed marriage license.

 

CORRECTION TO NAME AFTER LICENSE HAS BEEN ISSUED

A.  If the name on the license is spelled incorrectly after the license has been issued, a new license can be prepared. The applicant will be required to pay the “Certificate of Correctness of Copy of Record” fee.

If there are any corrections to be made after the ceremony and not all the parties are available to sign, a Civil “Petition for Change of Name” must be filed.

  1. A certified copy of the order is provided to the applicant(s).

  2. If the name of the license is spelled incorrectly, but not realized until after the ceremony a new license can be issued if all the parties are available to resign the license.  The applicant will be required to pay the full “Marriage License” fee. 

 

Read the Arizona Revised Statute Title 25 Marital and Domestic Relations.

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