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California Marriage Laws

California Family Code 420 - Solemnization of Marriage by unauthorized persons.

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Solemnization of Marriage by unauthorized persons.

(a) No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required for solemnization of the marriage, but the parties shall declare, in the physical presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and necessary witnesses, that they take each other as spouses. (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is stationed overseas and serving in a conflict or a war and is unable to appear for the licensure and solemnization of the marriage may enter into that marriage by the appearance of an attorney in fact, commissioned and empowered in writing for that purpose through a power of attorney. The attorney in fact shall personally appear at the county clerk’s office with the party who is not stationed overseas and present the original power of attorney duly signed by the party stationed overseas and acknowledged before a notary or witnessed by two officers of the United States Armed Forces. Copies in any form, including by facsimile, are not acceptable. The power of attorney shall state the full given names at birth, or by court order, of the parties to be married, and that the power of attorney is solely for the purpose of authorizing the attorney in fact to obtain a marriage license on the person’s behalf and participate in the solemnization of the marriage. The original power of attorney shall be a part of the marriage certificate upon registration. The completion of a power of attorney shall be the sole determinant as to whether the county clerk’s office and the State Registrar will accept the power of attorney. (c) A contract of marriage, if otherwise duly made, shall not be invalidated for want of conformity to the requirements of any religious sect.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 130, Sec. 1. (AB 2128) Effective January 1, 2017.)

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