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Marriage in Georgia
In Georgia, for two people to enter into a valid marriage, the following requirements must be met:
- The parties must be able to contract;
- An actual contract must be entered into; and
- The marriage must be consummation according to law.
O.C.G.A. § 19-3-1. In order to enter into a valid contract to marry, the two individuals seeking to wed must:
- Be of sound mind;
- Be at least 18 years of age (if between the ages of 16 or 17, parental consent is required);
- Have no living spouse of a previous un-dissolved or currently existing marriage;
- Not be related by blood or marriage with in the prohibited degrees; and
- Enter into the marriage voluntarily and without any fraudulent influence.
O.C.G.A. §§ 19-3-2 and 19-3-4.
Regarding the fourth requirement listed above, Georgia law prohibits individuals who have the following familial relationships with each other from marrying. In fact, any party who knowingly enters a marriage with another individual who is related to them by any of the following relationships may be subject to imprisonment for up to three years:
- Father and daughter or stepdaughter;
- Mother and son or stepson;
- Brother and sister of the whole blood or the half blood;
- Grandparent and grandchild;
- Aunt and nephew; or
- Uncle and niece
O.C.G.A. § 19-3-3.
Additionally, Georgia law prohibits marriage between individuals of the same sex and does not recognize same sex marriages entered into in other states. O.C.G.A. § 19-3-3.1.
For more information regarding how to procure a marriage license and what requirements must be met before you and your prospective spouse will be issued a marriage license and marriage certificate, contact your counties Probate Court. To find your local Probate Court’s information, or to view of a list of Georgia’s requirements to obtain a marriage license, see GAprobate.org.