What is marriage?
Marriage is a binding contract between a man and a woman who agree to take each other as spouses. The marriage contract grants rights and duties on both parties.
What is a domestic partnership?
As of January 2008, two people of the same gender and at least 18 years of age, one of whom is an Oregon resident, can contract to be domestic partners. Called a Declaration of Domestic Partnership, the document is available at each county clerk's office and requires a small filing fee.
Who can marry in Oregon?
In Oregon, you must be 17 years old before you can marry. If you are under 18 years old, you must have the written consent of a parent or guardian before you can marry. An exception applies if you have no parent or guardian living in Oregon. You cannot marry a first cousin or anyone nearer of kin to you (unless they are your first cousin by adoption).
May a marriage be annulled?
A marriage may be annulled, or set aside by the court as if it had never occurred, if at the time of the marriage: either person was under age; either person was incapable of understanding what he or she was doing; or either person consented to the marriage but that consent was obtained by force or fraud.
Do I need a marriage license?
In order to marry you must apply for a license from the county clerk's office, for a small fee. The county clerk will issue the license, however the license will not be effective for three days after the date on which the application was signed. This waiting period may be shortened by a court order.
Is a physical examination required?
Is a Social Security number required?
How long is the marriage license valid?
The license is valid for 60 days. If you do not marry within that time frame you must apply for another marriage license.
Where can the marriage be performed?
Once you have a license from any county clerk in Oregon, you can have the marriage anywhere in Oregon.
Who can perform the marriage?
The marriage may be performed by an Oregon judicial officer, county clerk or a clergyperson of any religious organization or congregation. Use of a judicial officer may include an additional fee.
What does the marriage ceremony have to include?
In the marriage ceremony the man and woman declare to the person performing the marriage, in front of two witnesses, that they agree to take each other as husband and wife.
Do I file a document after the marriage ceremony?
The person who conducted the marriage must complete the original marriage application form and license within 10 days of the ceremony, and the application with the signature must be delivered to the same county clerk's office that issued the marriage license.
Does marriage affect my will?
Marriage revokes an existing will as to any provisions in favor of your ex-spouse, with few exceptions. A will written before the marriage may be valid if it was prepared with the marriage in mind. Marriage does not change the beneficiary of any policy or account, so you must make these changes with each institution, such as life insurance companies, retirement plans, bank or investment accounts, using their forms.
What is a prenuptial agreement?
Before marriage, people may sign an agreement that determines their rights and duties regarding their property and support obligations if they divorce. The agreement must be in writing. Both parties to a prenuptial agreement must fully understand the effect of the agreement, including the legal rights they may be giving up. You should ask the advice of a lawyer before signing any prenuptial agreement.
What about debts?
Marriage does not make you or your spouse responsible for the debts either of you incurred before marriage. After marriage, debts related to the family, including costs of children's education, become the responsibility of both spouses. Creditors may sue either or both of you to collect these debts and can collect unpaid bills from the person whose name is on the bill.
Does a married person under 18 have the same legal rights and obligations as an adult?
Married persons under 18 years of age are now considered to have reached the age of majority for most purposes. However, they still must follow other laws with age limits, such as liquor, cigarette and voting laws.
Can I keep my name after marriage?
You are not required to change your name when you marry. You may change your last name to your spouse's last name or hyphenate the two last names. If you decide to do either of those, you may also change your middle name to your surname prior to the marriage. This is accomplished by filling out the marriage application documents.
Does Oregon have common law marriages?
A common law "marriage" is not created in Oregon. However, if a couple is from a state that acknowledges common law marriages, and the couple meets the requirements of common law marriage of that state, then the state of Oregon will recognize the marriage of that state as valid in Oregon.
Legal editor: Melya Stylos 2008; updated by Erin K. Fitzgerald October 2011.