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False Statements and Affidavits

You must obtain a marriage license before you can get married. In New York, the application for a marriage license is not merely a form like any other, it is an affidavit. An affidavit is a written statement which is sworn to be true. An affidavit is signed both by the person making the statement and by a person who is legally authorized to administer an oath, such as a notary public or certain government officials. When you complete a marriage application and sign it, you are swearing to the truth of the information you provided. If you include information that is not true, you may be charged with perjury. Thus, it is critical that when you complete your marriage application you provide truthful answers. If you have concerns related to your pending marriage, of if you are already married and have questions about the legalities related to your marriage, contact an experienced New York family lawyer to discuss your concerns.

Application for a Marriage License

To get a marriage license, you must complete an application that includes an affidavit. The information required for each person includes: full name, address, employment, place of birth, age, date of birth, names of parents, number of the current marriage, how previous marriages ended (divorce, annulment, death), date last marriage ended, and dates of divorce or annulment decrees. You must sign the affidavit, and the town or city clerk will also sign it. In signing the affidavit, you are swearing or affirming that everything you stated in the application is true. If you knowingly include false information on the application, you would have committed the crime of perjury.

In addition to committing perjury, there may be other consequences to including false information in the marriage license. For example, if you lie about your previous marriage being dissolved or annulled, any attempt to get married again will fail and the marriage will be invalid. If you state that you are over 18 but you are not, your marriage will be voidable.

Once you complete your application for your marriage license, you should review it carefully to make sure there are no mistakes. The application will be process while you wait. If everything is in order, your marriage license will be processed while you wait.

Completing the affidavit for a marriage license is not the only step in getting married. After you receive your marriage license, you must also have your marriage solemnized in a civil or religious ceremony. The marriage may not take place within 24 hours from the time you received your marriage license. Marriage licenses are only valid for 60 days.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Marriages of minors under seventeen years of age: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 15-a
  2. Clergyman or officer violating article; penalty: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 17
  3. Clergymen or officer, when protected: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 18
Domestic Relations Law, section 16: False Statements and Affidavits

Any person who shall in any affidavit or statement required or provided for in this article wilfully and falsely swear in regard to any material fact as to the competency of any person for whose marriage the license in question or concerning the procuring or issuing of which such affidavit or statement may be made shall be deemed guilty of perjury and on conviction thereof shall be punished as provided by the statutes of this state.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

New York law related to marriage, custody, divorce, and child support is detailed and complicated. The New York family lawyers at the Laws Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing clients who are facing complex family-related issues. Whether you need legal guidance related to a marriage, divorce, child custody, spousal support, or child support, we have the skill and resources to help. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Suffolk County, Bronx, Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Westchester County.

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