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Marriage, How Solemnized

To get married in New York, the process is fairly simple. The couple must obtain a marriage license by showing identification and paying a fee. Then, between 24 hours and 60 days of receiving the license, the couple must solemnize the marriage. This means that the couple must go through the process of having a marriage ceremony. If you fail to solemnize the marriage within the required timeframe, then you will have to get a new marriage license. While the process of getting married in New York is straightforward, marriage and other aspects of family life can be complicated. If you are concerned about a legal matter related to your marriage or any other family related issue, contact an experienced New York family lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis. We can help ensure that your interests are protected.

Solemnizing a marriage

Typically, two types of ceremonies come to mind when thinking about weddings. Some people choose to have wedding celebrations that include a ceremony before family and friends at a church or other beautiful setting. The bride walks down the aisle in a wedding gown. The wedding party includes several bridesmaids and groomsmen. After the ceremony, there is a reception with a tiered cake, formal dancing, and throwing of the bouquet. Other couples choose a simpler way to solemnize their marriage. They go for a “courthouse” style wedding. They simply go to the Marriage Bureau, city hall, or wherever the town or city designates and gets married by a judge or clerk.

In New York, no particular type of ceremony is required. According to NY Dom. Rel. Law § 12, the law requires only that there is a ceremony, that a clergyman or magistrate officiate the ceremony, that the couple swears to take each other as “husband and wife,” and that there is a witness other than the person who performed the ceremony. The law recognizes that there are denominations and cultures in New York that have their own unique ways of solemnizing marriages. New York recognizes marriages solemnized in the manner consistent with the requirements of the couple’s culture or denomination.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Marriage a civil contract: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 11
  2. Marriages licenses: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 13
  3. Town and city clerks to issue marriage licenses; form: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 14
Domestic Relations Law, section 12: Marriage, how solemnized

No particular form or ceremony is required when a marriage is solemnized as herein provided by a clergyman or magistrate, but the parties must solemnly declare in the presence of a clergyman or magistrate and the attending witness or witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife. In every case, at least one witness beside the clergyman or magistrate must be present at the ceremony.

The preceding provisions of this chapter, so far as they relate to the manner of solemnizing marriages, shall not affect marriages among the people called friends or quakers; nor marriages among the people of any other denominations having as such any particular mode of solemnizing marriages; but such marriages must be solemnized in the manner heretofore used and practiced in their respective societies or denominations, and marriages so solemnized shall be as valid as if this article had not been enacted.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

While the process of getting married in New York is straightforward, marriage and other aspects of family life can be complicated. If you have are facing a difficult family-related dispute such as divorce, asset division, child support, or child custody, it is important that you contact a New York family lawyer with experience. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have over 20 years of experience and provide compassionate legal guidance to clients seeking resolution to family law matters. We can 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: Nassau County, Queens, Suffolk County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Westchester County.

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My ex-husband hadn't paid child support or the mortgage on the house as he was supposed to. Stephen Bilkis and his team of lawyers were amazing. They stopped the foreclosure on the house, Got a judgment against him and most importantly kept me and my children in the house. Can't say enough good things about him in the firm their compassion hard work and dedication were exceptional. I.G.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin