Getting Married by the Justice of the Peace

November 29th, 20105:50 pm


Getting Married by the Justice of the Peace

Not everyone wants a religious ceremony.  Actually, there are a growing number of marriages that do not even take place in a church or any other sacred or religious building.  If you are thinking about having a justice of the peace marriage and leaving that religious component behind, it’s a good idea to do a bit of investigating to see if you will be able to have that marriage (for example, some countries will allow for homosexual justice of the peace marriages, while others will not.  Do your research beforehand).

In the United States

One of the key elements to becoming married by a justice of the peace in the United States is that you need to have a marriage license.  Chances are you can obtain a marriage license from the very same building that your justice of the peace may be in.  Take note that though the justice of the peace in the United States does perform the marriage ceremony, you will need to apply for this document on your own from your county or town’s registry.  Once you apply for this separate documentation, you will then need to mail this document into the town hall.  It may take a couple of weeks from that point to actually obtain a marriage certificate, so start planning to get your marriage license at least a month prior to your actual wedding date.

You generally do not need to take any sort of blood tests if you are being married by a justice of the peace in the United States, but check in with your separate town or county to see what the rules may be, especially if you are marrying someone who is out of state or who is not from the United States.

In Canada

In Canada, one exciting change is that same-sex couples can become legally married and are recognized as having the same rights as any other married couple in the country.  There are no residency requirements either, meaning that anyone from any where can come to Canada and get married.  Some other countries that allow for same sex marriages are:

  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • South Africa

The only difference is that there are residency requirements in these countries which will complicate matters for anyone who is seeking a same-sex marriage.

To become married in Canada, the process is very similar to that of the United States.  You need to apply for a marriage license, obtain the license, and then find a justice of the peace to perform the ceremony.  You will also need a witness for your ceremony, and no medical tests are required.

In Australia

In Australia, the Justice of the peace can witness the signatures that are signed on the statutory declarations, certify that all copies of the documents are true, and they can witness a bride and groom’s signatures on the Notice of Intended Marriage in Australia.  A key difference in Australia, however, is that they cannot actually perform the wedding ceremony itself.