Louisiana Marriage Laws

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Below you can read through our curated list of all Louisiana laws related to marriage, weddings, officiants, and marriage licenses. If it is in any way marriage related, you will find it here.


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LOUISIANA REVISED STATUTES § 9:202

Authority to perform marriage ceremony A marriage ceremony may be performed by: (1) A priest, minister, rabbi, clerk of the Religious Society of Friends, or any clergyman of any religious sect, who has attained the age of majority and is authorized by the authorities of his religion to perform marriages, and who is registered to perform marriages; (2) A state judge or justice of the peace.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1997, No. 73, §1; Acts 2014, No. 651, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:223

A. An application for a marriage license shall be made on a form provided by Subsection B of this Section. B. The application form shall be as follows: Application for Marriage __________________(Parish), State of Louisiana Date of Application: Hour of Application: GROOM Last Name of Groom First Name of Groom Middle/Second Name of Groom Address Is residence inside city limits? ☐ Yes ☐ No Parish/County State Race Date of Birth (month-day-year) State of Birth Father's Name State of Birth Mother's Maiden Name State of Birth BRIDE Last Name of Bride First Name of Bride Middle/Second Name of Bride Maiden Name of Bride Address Is residence inside city limits? ☐ Yes ☐ No Parish/County State Race Date of Birth (month-day-year) State of Birth Father's Name State of Birth Mother's Maiden Name State of Birth Covenant Marriage Covenant Marriage☐ Yes☐ NoIf yes, complete the following: We, ___________________________ and _____________________________ do hereby declare our intent to contract a Covenant Marriage and, accordingly, have executed a declaration of intent attached hereto. Groom Has the groom been formerly married?_________ How many times?________ Are you divorced ________? Bride Has the bride been formerly married?_________ How many times?________ Are you divorced ________? SSN Grooms's Social Security Number Bride's Social Security Number I ___________________________ (print name of groom) do swear or affirm that the information contained in this application for marriage is true and correct. I further swear or affirm that this is my ______ (1st, 2nd, etc. number) marriage but that I am not currently married to anyone else, and that I am free to marry under the laws of the state of Louisiana. I further understand and acknowledge that giving any false information or false statement in this application of marriage shall constitute the crime of filing a false public record in violation of the Louisiana Criminal Code (R.S. 14:133). ____________________________ Signature of Groom Sworn to and subscribed before me this ________ day of __________________, 20___. ___________________ Notary Public/Deputy Clerk/Deputy Registrar I ___________________________ (print name of bride) do swear or affirm that the information contained in this application for marriage is true and correct. I further swear or affirm that this is my ______ (1st, 2nd, etc. number) marriage but that I am not currently married to anyone else, and that I am free to marry under the laws of the state of Louisiana. I further understand and acknowledge that giving any false information or false statement in this application of marriage shall constitute the crime of filing a false public record in violation of the Louisiana Criminal Code (R.S. 14:133). ____________________________ Signature of Bride Sworn to and subscribed before me this ________ day of __________________, 20___. ___________________ Notary Public/Deputy Clerk/Deputy Registrar

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 2015, No. 436, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:211

Notwithstanding the provisions of Civil Code Article 90, marriages between collaterals within the fourth degree, fifty-five years of age or older, which were entered into on or before December 31, 1992, shall be considered legal and the enactment hereof shall in no way impair vested property rights.

Acts 1993, No. 7, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:221

A. A license authorizing an officiant to perform a marriage ceremony must be issued by: (1) The state registrar of vital records, or a judge of the city court, in the Parish of Orleans; (2) The clerk of court, in any other parish; or (3) A district judge, if the clerk of court is a party to the marriage. B. No marriage license for a minor under the age of sixteen shall be issued. No marriage license for a minor of the age of sixteen or seventeen shall be issued where there is an age difference of three years or greater between the persons seeking the marriage license.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 2019, No. 401, §2.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:201

An officiant is a person authorized by law to perform marriage ceremonies.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:204

An officiant, other than a judge or justice of the peace, may perform marriage ceremonies only after he registers to do so by depositing with the clerk of court of the parish in which he will principally perform marriage ceremonies, or, in the case of Orleans Parish, with the office of the state registrar of vital records, an affidavit stating his lawful name, denomination, and address.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:205

An officiant may not perform a marriage ceremony until he has received a license authorizing him to perform that marriage ceremony.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1988, No. 978, §1; Acts 1990, No. 81, §§1, 2.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:222

A marriage license may be issued in any parish, regardless of where the ceremony is to be performed or the parties reside.

Acts 1990, No. 81, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:294

Spouses owe each other love and respect and they commit to a community of living. Each spouse should attend to the satisfaction of the other's needs.

Acts 2004, No. 490, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:227

A. If no birth certificate is on file for an applicant, a letter signed by the proper registration authority of the state, territory, or country of the place of birth of the applicant, under his raised seal or stamp, shall be submitted in lieu of a birth certificate. The letter must state that a thorough search was made and that no birth record was located for the applicant. B. The letter issued pursuant to Subsection A of this Section shall be filed with the court conducting the hearing pursuant to R.S. 9:228. C. The judge issuing the order waiving the birth certificate in order to obtain the marriage license shall demand other proof of birth facts.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 2015, No. 436, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:228

A. In the event of extenuating circumstances, for good cause shown, and after a hearing, which may be held in camera, finding that the parties have complied with all other requirements, including presentation of the letter required by R.S. 9:227 and other competent evidence that the applicant was born in any state or territory of the United States, a judge of the First or Second City Courts of the city of New Orleans, a family court judge, a juvenile court judge, or any district court judge of a parish may order an issuing official within the territorial jurisdiction of his court to issue a marriage license without the applicant submitting a birth certificate. The order need not state the reasons. The written order shall be attached to the marriage application. B. In the event of extenuating circumstances, and for good cause shown, and after a hearing, which may be held in camera, finding that the parties have complied with all other requirements, including presentation of the letter required by R.S. 9:227 and other competent evidence that the applicant was born in any state or territory of the United States, a justice of the peace or city court judge may order an issuing official within the parish where his court is situated to issue a marriage license without the applicant submitting a birth certificate. The order need not state the reasons. The written order shall be attached to the marriage application.

Acts 1991, No. 692, §1; Acts 1995, No. 454, §1; Acts 1999, No. 113, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:234

A. The official who issues the marriage license shall show on the face of it the exact time and date of issuance. B. The official shall also indicate on the marriage license whether the parties intend to enter into a covenant marriage.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1997, No. 1380, §2.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:235

A marriage license is valid for thirty days from the date of issuance. No officiant shall perform a marriage after the license has expired.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:236

A new license may be issued to the parties if they surrender the expired license to the issuing official.

Acts 1988, No. 345, §1, eff. July 7, 1988; Acts 1988, No. 808, §1, eff. July 18, 1988.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:226

A. A person born in Louisiana shall submit a certified copy of his birth certificate. A short-form birth certification card shall be acceptable as a certified copy of a birth certificate. B. A person born in a state or territory of the United States other than Louisiana shall submit a copy of his birth certificate under the raised seal or stamp of the vital statistics registration authority of his place of birth. C. A person born outside of the United States or territory of the United States shall submit a birth certificate under the seal of the United States or shall submit all of the following: (1)(a) A copy of the person's birth certificate under the raised seal or stamp of the vital statistics registration authority of the person's place of birth. (b) If the birth certificate is not printed in English, the party shall submit a translated copy in addition to the copy required by Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph. The translation shall contain a sworn declaration of the translator that he is fluent in the language of the original birth certificate and of the translation, and that the translation is a true and accurate representation of the original. (2) A valid and unexpired passport or an unexpired visa accompanied by a Form I-94 issued by the United States, verifying that the applicant is lawfully in the United States. D. A copy of the birth certificate or order issued pursuant to R.S. 9:228 shall be retained by the official recorder of the marriage for a minimum period of sixty days.

Acts 1987, No. 330, §1; Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1988, No. 344, §2; Acts 1988, No. 345, §2, eff. July 7, 1988; Acts 1988, No. 808, §2, eff. July 18, 1988; Acts 1990, No. 362, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 1991, No. 462, §1; Acts 2000, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 118, §1, eff. April 19, 2000; Acts 2015, No. 436, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:241

An officiant may not perform a marriage ceremony until twenty-four hours have elapsed since the issuance of the marriage license.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 2018, No. 276, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:244

The marriage ceremony shall be performed in the presence of two competent witnesses of full age.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:242

A. A judge, justice of the peace, or retired justice of the peace authorized to perform the marriage may waive the twenty-four-hour delay upon application of the parties giving serious and meritorious reasons. His certificate authorizing the immediate performance of the ceremony must be attached to the marriage license. B. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 9:241, an officiant authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in the parish of Orleans may waive the twenty-four-hour delay for nonresident parties upon application of the parties giving serious and meritorious reasons. His certificate authorizing the immediate performance of the ceremony shall be attached to the marriage license. For purposes of this Subsection, "nonresident" shall mean a person domiciled or residing in a jurisdiction other than the state of Louisiana.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 2003, No. 255, §1, eff. June 6, 2003; Acts 2014, No. 435, §1; Acts 2018, No. 276, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:243

An officiant who violates R.S. 9:241, except for a judge, justice of the peace or an officiant authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in the parish of Orleans and who is authorized to waive the twenty-four-hour delay pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 9:242(B), may have his authority to perform marriage ceremonies revoked by the state registrar of vital records. The revocation may not exceed one year.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 2003, No. 255, §1, eff. June 6, 2003; Acts 2018, No. 276, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:245

A.(1) The marriage certificate is the record prepared for every marriage on a form approved by the state registrar of vital records. It shall contain the information prescribed. On the face of the certificate shall appear the certification to the fact of marriage including, if applicable, a designation that the parties entered into a covenant marriage, signed by the parties to the marriage and by the witnesses, and the signature and title of the officiant. (2) The marriage certificate shall show the place, time, and date of the performance of the ceremony. B. Every officiant of a marriage ceremony performed in this state shall sign a certificate of marriage in triplicate.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1997, No. 1380, §2.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:251

The application for a marriage license, the authorization to the officiant to perform the marriage ceremony, and the marriage certificate may be incorporated into a single form approved by the state registrar of vital records.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:252

A. Each officer authorized to issue marriage licenses in this state shall keep a duplicate record of all marriage licenses issued, on which he shall note the date and place of the marriage, and the name of the person who performed the ceremony. B. One copy shall be kept in a loose-leaf book until it has been filled, at which time it shall be permanently bound, and shall be kept open to the inspection of the public during office hours. C. The other copy shall be filed with the division of vital records of the Department of Children and Family Services within ten days of the expiration of each month, and the failure, neglect, or refusal to do so shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than fifty dollars.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; H.C.R. No. 59, 1999 R.S.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:297

Spouses by mutual consent after collaboration shall make decisions relating to family life in the best interest of the family.

Acts 2004, No. 490, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:255

A. The state registrar of vital records shall annually prepare, from the information filed with him under the provisions of R.S. 9:224, 252, and 253, abstracts and tabular statements of the facts relating to marriages in each parish, and embody them, with the necessary analysis, in his annual report to the state. His annual report to the state shall include a state of marriage report. B. The annual state of marriage report shall include the number of minors married in each parish, the number of marriages approved by parental consent, and the number of marriages approved by judicial authorization. C. The annual state of marriage report shall be submitted to the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 2019, No. 401, §2.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:256

Any person who makes a false entry in a marriage license as to the time and date of the issuance of the license or, in a marriage certificate, as to the time and date of the performance of the marriage, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not more than twenty-five dollars.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:261

In case of an opposition to the marriage, if it be supported by the oath of the party making it, and by reason sufficient in the opinion of the judge to authorize a suspension of the marriage, it shall be notified to the parties, and a day shall be assigned for a hearing.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:262

The time fixed for the hearing of the parties and the decision on the opposition shall not exceed ten days from the day on which the opposition was made.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:263

Any person may make opposition to a marriage, but if the opposition be overruled, the party making it shall pay costs.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:272

A. A covenant marriage is a marriage entered into by one male and one female who understand and agree that the marriage between them is a lifelong relationship. Parties to a covenant marriage have received counseling emphasizing the nature and purposes of marriage and the responsibilities thereto. Only when there has been a complete and total breach of the marital covenant commitment may the non-breaching party seek a declaration that the marriage is no longer legally recognized. B. A man and woman may contract a covenant marriage by declaring their intent to do so on their application for a marriage license, as provided in R.S. 9:224(C), and executing a declaration of intent to contract a covenant marriage, as provided in R.S. 9:273. The application for a marriage license and the declaration of intent shall be filed with the official who issues the marriage license. C. A covenant marriage terminates only for one of the causes enumerated in Civil Code Article 101. A covenant marriage may be terminated by divorce only upon one of the exclusive grounds enumerated in R.S. 9:307. A covenant marriage agreement may not be dissolved, rescinded, or otherwise terminated by the mutual consent of the spouses.

Acts 1997, No. 1380, §3; Acts 2006, No. 249, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:295

Spouses are bound to live together, unless there is good cause otherwise. The spouses determine the family residence by mutual consent, according to their requirements and those of the family.

Acts 2004, No. 490, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:274

A covenant marriage shall be governed by all of the provisions of Chapters 1 through 4 of Title IV of Book I of the Louisiana Civil Code and the provisions of Code Title IV of Code Book I of this Title.

Acts 1997, No. 1380, §3.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:275.1

A. The following is suggested as a form for the recitation which may be used by the couple: "DECLARATION OF INTENT We do solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife for so long as they both may live. We understand the nature, purpose, and responsibilities of marriage. We have read the Covenant Marriage Act, and we understand that a Covenant Marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties, we commit ourselves to take reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling. With full knowledge of what this commitment means, we do hereby declare that our marriage will be bound by Louisiana law on Covenant Marriage, and we renew our promise to love, honor, and care for one another as husband and wife for the rest of our lives." B. The following is the suggested form of the affidavit which may be used by the parties, notary, and counselor: STATE OF LOUISIANA PARISH OF _________________ BE IT KNOWN THAT on this ____ day of ________, ________, before me the undersigned notary, personally came and appeared: ____________________________________ (Insert names of spouses) who after being sworn by me, Notary, deposed and stated that: Affiants acknowledge that they have received counseling from a priest, minister, rabbi, clerk of the Religious Society of Friends, any clergyman of any religious sect, or a professional marriage counselor, which counseling included: A discussion of the seriousness of Covenant Marriage; Communication of the fact that a Covenant Marriage is a commitment for life; The obligation of a Covenant Marriage to take reasonable efforts to preserve the marriage if marital difficulties arise, and That the affiants both read the pamphlet entitled "The Covenant Marriage Act" developed and promulgated by the office of the attorney general, which provides a full explanation of a Covenant Marriage, including the obligation to seek marital counseling in times of marital difficulties and the exclusive grounds for legally terminating a Covenant Marriage by divorce or divorce after a judgment of separation from bed or board. ____________________________ (Name of Spouse) ____________________________ (Name of Spouse) SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED BEFORE ME THIS _____ DAY OF ___________, _______. __________________________ NOTARY PUBLIC ATTESTATION The undersigned does hereby attest that the affiants did receive counseling from me as to the nature and purpose of marriage, which included a discussion of the seriousness of Covenant Marriage, communication of the fact that a Covenant Marriage is for life, and the obligation of a Covenant Marriage to take reasonable efforts to preserve the marriage if marital difficulties arise. ________________________ Counselor

Acts 1999, No. 1298, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:276

A. No person shall have a cause of action against any priest, minister, rabbi, clerk of religious society of friends, or any clergyman of any religious sect, for any action taken or statement made in adherence with the provisions for counseling as provided for in this Part. B. The immunity from liability provided for in Subsection A of this Section, shall not apply to any action or statement by such priest, minister, rabbi, clerk of religious society of friends, or any clergyman of any religious sect, if such action or statement was maliciously, willfully, and deliberately intended to cause harm to, or harass or intimidate those seeking such counseling.

Acts 2003, No. 778, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:291

Spouses may not sue each other except for causes of action pertaining to contracts or arising out of the provisions of Book III, Title VI of the Civil Code; for restitution of separate property; for divorce or declaration of nullity of the marriage; and for causes of action pertaining to spousal support or the support or custody of a child while the spouses are living separate and apart.

Acts 1990, No. 1009, §6, eff. Jan. 1, 1991; Acts 2004, No. 490, §3.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:292

Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a woman, at her option, may use her maiden name, her present spouse's name, or a hyphenated combination thereof. If widowed, divorced, or remarried, a woman may use her maiden name, the surname of her deceased or former spouse, the surname of her present spouse, or any combination thereof.

Acts 2003, No. 852, §1; Acts 2004, No. 118, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:293

Spouses in a covenant marriage are subject to all of the laws governing married couples generally and to the special rules governing covenant marriage.

Acts 2004, No. 490, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:296

The management of the household shall be the right and the duty of both spouses.

Acts 2004, No. 490, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:224

A. The application for a marriage license provided by R.S. 9:223, and containing all of the following information, shall be sworn to and signed by both parties before a notary public, deputy clerk, or deputy registrar: (1) The date and hour of the application. (2) The full name, residence, race, and age of each party. (3) The names of the parents of each party. (4) The number of former marriages of each party, and whether divorced or not. (5) The relationship of each party to the other. (6) Each party's social security number, if both parties were born in any state or territory of the United States or are naturalized citizens of the United States. (a) If a party does not have a social security number issued by the United States Social Security Administration because the party is not a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States, the party shall present either of the following: (i) A valid and unexpired passport from the country of his birth. (ii) An unexpired visa accompanied by a Form I-94 issued by the United States. (b) The state registrar of vital records and the officiant shall maintain confidentiality of social security numbers. Notwithstanding the provisions of R.S. 44:1 et seq. the clerk of court shall maintain the confidentiality of a party's social security number in an application for a marriage license provided a request is made to the clerk in writing by the party at the time of application. (7) An acknowledgment that each party is free to marry pursuant to Louisiana law, that the information contained in the application is true and correct, and that each party understands that falsification of the application shall constitute the filing of false public records pursuant to R.S. 14:133. B.(1) Both applicants are not required to execute the application at the same time, provided that each applicant executes the application before a notary public as required by R.S. 9:224(A). (2) A member of the armed forces of the United States shall not be required to sign the application required by Subsection A of this Section if the co-applicant attaches a copy of the military identification card of the member. If both applicants are members of the armed forces of the United States, only one applicant shall be required to sign the application, but that applicant shall attach a copy of the military identification card of the co-applicant not signing the application. (3) In the event of extenuating circumstances, and after a finding that the parties have complied with all other requirements, for good cause shown, a judge of the First or Second City Courts of the city of New Orleans, a family court judge, a juvenile court judge, a district court judge, a city court judge, or a justice of the peace may order an issuing official within the territorial jurisdiction of his court to issue a marriage license with the notarized signature of only one of the applicants. The written order shall be attached to the marriage application. C. In cases wherein the parties intend to contract a covenant marriage, the application for a marriage license must also include the following statement completed by at least one of the two parties: "We, [name of intended husband] and [name of intended wife], do hereby declare our intent to contract a Covenant Marriage and, accordingly, have executed a declaration of intent attached hereto." D. Upon request, the state registrar shall provide the information required in this Section to the agency charged with implementing a program of family support in accordance with R.S. 46:236.1.1 et seq., which shall maintain the confidentiality of the information. E. The failure of the application to contain the signatures of both parties shall not affect the validity of the covenant marriage if the declaration of intent and accompanying affidavit have been signed by the parties.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1997, No. 1380, §2; Acts 1998, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 8, §1, eff. April 24, 1998; Acts 1999, No. 1298, §1; Acts 2015, No. 436, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:237

A. On receiving an application for a license to marry, the license-issuing officer shall deliver to each prospective spouse, either in person or by registered mail, a printed summary of the then current matrimonial regime laws of this state and the covenant marriage law of this state. These summaries shall be prepared by the attorney general of this state. B. The summary of matrimonial regime law shall emphasize the possibility of contracting expressly a regime of one's choosing before marriage, that spouses who have not entered into a matrimonial agreement before marriage become subject to the legal regime by operation of law, and the possibility of contracting after marriage to modify the matrimonial regime. C. The summary of covenant marriage law shall emphasize that premarital counseling is mandatory at which time the necessary documents consisting of the declaration of intent and the affidavit and attestation of the counselor shall be executed, that the couple agrees to take all reasonable steps to preserve their marriage if marital difficulties arise, including marriage counseling, that divorce in a covenant marriage is restricted to fault by a spouse and living separate and apart for two years as provided in R.S. 9:307, that expenses for additional legal and marital counseling may be incurred by the couple in order to obtain a legal termination of a covenant marriage, and that divorce under the general marriage law of this state differs significantly.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 2001, No. 561, §1; Acts 2014, No. 360, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:203

A. Judges and justices of the peace may perform marriage ceremonies within the following territorial limits: (1) A justice of the supreme court within the state; (2) A judge of a court of appeals within the circuit; (3) A judge of a district court within the district; (4) A judge of a family court, juvenile court, parish court, city court, or, in Orleans Parish, a municipal or traffic court, within the parish in which the court is situated; and (5) A justice of the peace within the parish in which the court of that justice of the peace is situated, and in any parish within the same supreme court district, or in a parish that has no justice of the peace court, except for Orleans Parish. B. A judge's authority to perform marriage ceremonies continues after he retires. C. A retired justice of the peace who has served a total of eighteen years in that capacity shall retain his authority to perform marriage ceremonies within the territorial limits authorized in Subsection A of this Section provided he registers to perform such ceremonies as required by R.S. 9:204. D. Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph (A)(5) of this Section, a justice of the peace within any of the parishes of DeSoto, Bossier, Caddo, Bienville, Webster, or Red River may perform marriage ceremonies within any of these parishes. E.(1) A United States District Court judge or magistrate judge of the Eastern District of Louisiana, Middle District of Louisiana, or Western District of Louisiana may perform marriage ceremonies in this state upon the adoption of a court rule, resolution, or standing order by a majority of the judges sitting en banc authorizing judges to perform such ceremonies. (2) A judge of a court of the United States whose official duty station includes a municipality having a population in excess of one hundred five thousand but less than one hundred thirty thousand persons according to the latest decennial census may perform marriage ceremonies within his official duty station. The authority granted by this Paragraph shall be effective only from August 1, 2012, through September 1, 2012.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 1991, No. 710, §1; Acts 1993, No. 105, §1; Acts 1995, No. 212, §1; Acts 1997, No. 73, §2; Acts 2001, No. 341, §1, eff. June 12, 2001; Acts 2001, No. 1103, §1; Acts 2002, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 60, §1; Acts 2003, No. 255, §1, eff. June 6, 2003; Acts 2004, No. 454, §1, eff. June 24, 2004; Acts 2005, No. 4, §1, eff. May 27, 2005; Acts 2007, No. 114, §1; Acts 2008, No. 675, §2, eff. July 1, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 873, §2, eff. July 9, 2008; Acts 2008, No. 879, §3; Acts 2009, No. 15, §1; Acts 2010, No. 199, §1; Acts 2010, No. 237, §1, eff. June 17, 2010; Acts 2012, No. 184, §1; Acts 2012, No. 286, §1; Acts 2014, No. 794, §1.

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solemnization of marriage

Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:225

A. An application for a marriage license shall be accompanied by: (1)(a) A certified copy of each party's birth certificate as provided by R.S. 9:226. (b) If the applicant does not have a birth certificate, the applicant shall obtain an order signed by a judge waiving the requirement pursuant to R.S. 9:228. (2) The written consent for a minor to marry, or the court's authorization for the minor to marry, or both, as required by Chapter 6 of Title XV of the Children's Code. (3) If applicable, the declaration of intent for a covenant marriage, as provided in Part VII of this Chapter. (4) A valid and unexpired driver's license, a government issued identification card, or a valid and unexpired passport from the country of his birth or an unexpired visa accompanied by Form I-94 as issued by the United States. B.(1) It shall be unlawful for any officer authorized to issue a marriage license in this state to issue a license to any male or female unless both parties first present and file with the officer a certified copy of their original birth certificate. (2) A photostatic or photographic reproduction of the certified copy of the birth certificate shall be filed with the officer.

Acts 1988, No. 344, §1; Acts 1988, No. 345, §1, eff. July 7, 1988; Acts 1988, No. 808, §1, eff. July 18, 1988; Acts 1995, No. 415, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1380, §2; Acts 2015, No. 436, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:253

A. The officiant shall give one copy of the marriage certificate to the married parties. Within ten days after the ceremony, he shall file the other two copies of the certificate of marriage with the clerk of court who issued the marriage license. B. Upon receipt of these copies, this officer shall sign them and note thereon the date the certificate was recorded by him. C. The clerk of court shall forward to the state registrar of vital records, on or before the fifteenth day of each calendar month, all of the following: (1) One copy of each certificate of marriage filed with him during the preceding calendar month. (2) A copy of the application of marriage which indicates the dates of birth of the husband and wife if either the husband or the wife is a minor.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Acts 2019, No. 401, §2.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:254

Any person authorized to perform marriages in this state who fails to complete the forms provided by the Department of Children and Family Services, and specifically fails to fill in the date and place the ceremony was performed, or neglects or fails to file the two executed copies with the clerk of court in the parish where the license was issued or, if in Orleans Parish, with the state office of vital records, within ten days after the date of the marriage as provided by law, shall be fined not less than twenty dollars for the first offense, fifty dollars for the second offense, and one hundred dollars for a third offense, and the offender shall be prohibited thereafter from officiating at any marriage in this state.

Acts 1987, No. 886, §3, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; H.C.R. No. 59, 1999 R.S.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:273

A. A declaration of intent to contract a covenant marriage shall contain all of the following: (1) A recitation signed by both parties to the following effect: "A COVENANT MARRIAGE We do solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife for so long as they both may live. We have chosen each other carefully and disclosed to one another everything which could adversely affect the decision to enter into this marriage. We have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes, and responsibilities of marriage. We have read the Covenant Marriage Act, and we understand that a Covenant Marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties, we commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling. With full knowledge of what this commitment means, we do hereby declare that our marriage will be bound by Louisiana law on Covenant Marriages and we promise to love, honor, and care for one another as husband and wife for the rest of our lives." (2)(a) An affidavit by the parties attesting they have received premarital counseling from a priest, minister, rabbi, clerk of the Religious Society of Friends, any clergyman of any religious sect, or a professional marriage counselor, which counseling shall include a discussion of the seriousness of covenant marriage, communication of the fact that a covenant marriage is a commitment for life, a discussion of the obligation to seek marital counseling in times of marital difficulties, and that they have received and read the informational pamphlet developed and promulgated by the office of the attorney general entitled "Covenant Marriage Act" which provides a full explanation of the terms and conditions of a covenant marriage. (b) An attestation, signed by the counselor and attached to or included in the parties' affidavit, confirming that the parties were counseled as to the nature and purpose of the marriage. (3)(a) The signature of both parties witnessed by a notary. (b) If one or both of the parties are minors, the written consent or authorization of those persons required under the Children's Code to consent to or authorize the marriage of minors. B. The declaration shall contain two separate documents, the recitation and the affidavit, the latter of which shall include the attestation either included therein or attached thereto. The recitation shall be prepared in duplicate originals, one of which shall be retained by the parties and the other, together with the affidavit and attestation, shall be filed as provided in R.S. 9:272(B).

Acts 1997, No. 1380, §3; Acts 1999, No. 1298, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:273.1

A. The following is suggested as a form for the recitation which may be used by the couple: "DECLARATION OF INTENT We do solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife for so long as they both may live. We have chosen each other carefully and disclosed to one another everything which could adversely affect the decision to enter this marriage. We have received premarital counseling on the nature, purposes, and responsibilities of marriage. We have read the Covenant Marriage Act, and we understand that a Covenant Marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties, we commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling. With full knowledge of what this commitment means, we do hereby declare that our marriage will be bound by Louisiana law on Covenant Marriages and we promise to love, honor, and care for one another as husband and wife for the rest of our lives." B. The following is the suggested form of the affidavit which may be used by the parties, notary, and counselor: STATE OF LOUISIANA PARISH OF BE IT KNOWN THAT on this ___ day of _______ , _____, before me the undersigned notary, personally came and appeared: _____________________________________________________________ (Insert names of the prospective spouses) who after being duly sworn by me, Notary, deposed and stated that: Affiants acknowledge that they have received premarital counseling from a priest, minister, rabbi, clerk of the Religious Society of Friends, any clergyman of any religious sect, or a professional marriage counselor, which marriage counseling included: A discussion of the seriousness of Covenant Marriage; Communication of the fact that a Covenant Marriage is a commitment for life; The obligation of a Covenant Marriage to take reasonable efforts to preserve the marriage if marital difficulties arise, and That the affiants both read the pamphlet entitled "The Covenant Marriage Act" developed and promulgated by the office of the attorney general, which provides a full explanation of a Covenant Marriage, including the obligation to seek marital counseling in times of marital difficulties and the exclusive grounds for legally terminating a Covenant Marriage by divorce or divorce after a judgment of separation from bed or board. _________________________ (Name of prospective spouse) _________________________ (Name of prospective spouse) SWORN TO AND SUBSCRIBED BEFORE ME THIS _____ DAY OF ____________, ________. ________________________________ NOTARY PUBLIC ATTESTATION The undersigned does hereby attest that the affiants did receive counseling from me as to the nature and purpose of marriage, which included a discussion of the seriousness of Covenant Marriage, communication of the fact that a Covenant Marriage is for life, and the obligation of a Covenant Marriage to take reasonable efforts to preserve the marriage if marital difficulties arise. _______________________________ Counselor

Acts 1999, No. 1298, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:275

A. On or after August 15, 1997, married couples may execute a declaration of intent to designate their marriage as a covenant marriage to be governed by the laws relative thereto. B.(1) This declaration of intent in the form and containing the contents required by Subsection C of this Section must be presented to the officer who issued the couple's marriage license and with whom the couple's marriage certificate is filed. If the couple was married outside of this state, a copy of the foreign marriage certificate, which need not be certified, with the declaration of intent attached thereto, shall be filed with the officer who issues marriage licenses in the parish in which the couple is domiciled. The officer shall make a notation on the marriage certificate of the declaration of intent of a covenant marriage and attach a copy of the declaration to the certificate. (2) On or before the fifteenth day of each calendar month, the officer shall forward to the state registrar of vital records each declaration of intent of a covenant marriage filed with him during the preceding calendar month pursuant to this Section. C.(1) A declaration of intent to designate a marriage as a covenant marriage shall contain all of the following: (a) A recitation signed by both parties to the following effect: "A COVENANT MARRIAGE We do solemnly declare that marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman who agree to live together as husband and wife for so long as they both may live. We understand the nature, purpose, and responsibilities of marriage. We have read the Covenant Marriage Act, and we understand that a Covenant Marriage is for life. If we experience marital difficulties, we commit ourselves to take all reasonable efforts to preserve our marriage, including marital counseling. With full knowledge of what this commitment means, we do hereby declare that our marriage will be bound by Louisiana law on Covenant Marriage, and we renew our promise to love, honor, and care for one another as husband and wife for the rest of our lives." (b)(i) An affidavit by the parties that they have discussed their intent to designate their marriage as a covenant marriage with a priest, minister, rabbi, clerk of the Religious Society of Friends, any clergyman of any religious sect, or a professional marriage counselor, which included a discussion of the obligation to seek marital counseling in times of marital difficulties and that they have received and read the informational pamphlet developed and promulgated by the office of the attorney general entitled "Covenant Marriage Act" which provides a full explanation of the terms and conditions of a Covenant Marriage. (ii) An attestation signed by the counselor confirming that the parties were counseled as to the nature and purpose of the marriage. (iii) The signature of both parties witnessed by a notary. (2) The declaration shall contain two separate documents, the recitation and the affidavit, the latter of which shall include the attestation either included therein or attached thereto. The recitation shall be prepared in duplicate originals, one of which shall be retained by the parties and the other, together with the affidavit and attestation, shall be filed as provided in Subsection B of this Section.

Acts 1997, No. 1380, §3; Acts 1999, No. 1298, §1.

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Louisiana Revised Statutes § 9:298

The spouses are bound to maintain, to teach, and to educate their children born of the marriage in accordance with their capacities, natural inclinations, and aspirations, and shall prepare them for their future.

Acts 2004, No. 490, §1.

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