marriage

Marriage

Definition

The legal union of a couple as spouses. The basic elements of a marriage are: (1) the parties' legal ability to marry each other, (2) mutual consent of the parties, and (3) a marriage contract as required by law.

See also Common...

Marriage Certificate

Also called a “certificate of marriage”, a marriage certificate is a written instrument generated by the state, and authorized by an officiant, that attests to the formation of a marriage. The certificate is usually signed by the spouses, officiator of...

Marriage License

A document, issued by a public authority (usually a county clerk), that grants a couple seeking to marry the permission to do so.

The requirements to obtain a marriage license vary by state, but they usually include valid identification, an...

Mental Cruelty

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryAn archaic term that in some states remains a ground for divorce, or a factor in division of marital property.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

Mirror Wills

Mirror wills are wills executed by two individuals that contain nearly identical provisions. Most commonly executed by married couples, the contents of each spouse’s will “mirrors” the contents of the other spouse’s will. For example, a married couple’...

Misrepresentation

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA misstatement of facts to obtain money, goods, or benefits to which the person making the misrepresentation is not entitled. In some circumstances misrepresentation can be prosecuted as a crime. Examples...

Mutual Wills

Mutual wills are wills made by at least two people, usually spouses or otherwise committed couples. As outlined in Murphy v. Glenn, mutual wills are not one will, but two separate wills that are reciprocal, identical, or substantially similar. The...

polygamy

Definition

The condition or practice of having more than one spouse at the same time. Polygamy as a crime originated in the common law, and it is now outlawed in every state. As a crime, polygamy is often synonymous with bigamy (marrying one...

pre-dup

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe equivalent of a prenuptial agreement, sometimes abbreviated to "prenup," for couples registering as domestic partners in states that allow it.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law...

Premarital agreement

Also known as prenuptial agreements or antenuptial agreements.

Contracts made by parties to a marriage prior to the marriage that may determine matters such as one party's rights in the estate of the other in the event of the death of one of the...

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