Planning a wedding is a big undertaking, to be sure. But sorting out the legal paperwork before you say "I Do" can be even more challenging. To help get you organized before your Big Day, The Huffington Post has put together a comprehensive, state-by-state guide to getting married. Here, read on for everything you need to know about getting hitched in Connecticut. --Barbie Carpenter
Residency Requirement And Waiting PeriodIndividuals do not have to be Connecticut residents to marry in the state. There is no waiting period.
Age RequirementThe legal age, or age of majority, to marry in Connecticut is 18. Minors ages 16 and 17 can marry with written consent from one parent or legal guardian. The parent or legal guardian must sign a written consent form in front of an authorized state official. Minors younger than 16 must receive written consent from a probate judge in their district in order to marry.
Marriage LicenseConnecticut vital records offices issue marriage licenses. Both individuals must apply for the license in person at the vital records office in the county in which they will marry. A Connecticut marriage license is $30 and valid for 65 days from the date of application.
Legal DocumentationCouples marrying in Connecticut need to provide photo identification, such as a driver's license, state-issued ID, military ID or passport, and their Social Security card to the vital records office. Individuals who are remarrying will need to provide information about divorce or the death of a spouse on the marriage license application. The couple must give their sworn statement that the information on the application is true.
Witnesses And OfficiantsOrdained and licensed ministers, judges and retired judges, family-support magistrates, justices of the peace and ordained or licensed members of the clergy can perform marriages in the state. Connecticut General Statutes do not require witnesses at the ceremony. The officiant must return the signed marriage license with the wedding date and time to the town in which the marriage took place no later than the first week of the month following the marriage.
Same-Sex MarriageSame-sex marriage became legal in Connecticut on Nov. 12, 2008. On Oct. 28, 2008, the Connecticut Supreme Court determined that "the state's public policy that limited marriage between a man and a woman violated the equal protection principles of Connecticut's constitution." Thus, as long as same-sex couples meet the state-established requirements for a marriage license, they can marry in the state.
Did You Know?Although Connecticut does not recognize common-law marriages, the state does recognize common-law marriages established in other states. For example, if a couple moved to Connecticut from a state that recognized common-law marriage, Connecticut would recognize the couple as married for income-tax purposes. Bigamy, or marriage to another person while legally married to another, is considered a Class D felony in Connecticut and is punishable by law.
See the full set of laws and regulations regarding marriage in Connecticut.
A name change following marriage in Alabama can be a hassle. It's a good idea to start by getting certified copies of your marriage certificate, filing a name change petition, then changing your name on your driver's license and vehicle registration. Name changes must also be submitted to your employer, as well as the Social Security Administration and the U.S. passport agency. Also consider changing your name on voter registration forms, bank accounts, credit cards, frequent-flier accounts and utilities providers.