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Author Topic: Marriages in the State of North Carolina  (Read 10062 times)

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Masked Dude

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Marriages in the State of North Carolina
« on: February 14, 2013, 10:38:37 PM »
Disclaimer: First of all, I'm not a lawyer. Yes, I had law school, but I'm not a bar-approved law dude. If you're not sure of something, I can't give any specific personal advice to you due to the possibility of legal sanctions. I can try to answer questions here (not in private, please) but they'd have to be general questions and answers that apply to all. You can also call your local Register of Deeds in your county.

With that out of the way, here goes. North Carolina does not need you to register before a wedding.

The bride- and groom-to-be go to their local Register of Deeds and fill out a marriage application form. The minimum age to marry is 18, though in some cases younger people can. I won't go into details, but emancipated 16- and 17-year-olds may marry without another's consent. The couple must each present a valid government issued photo ID and Social Security card. The application costs $60 and can be paid in cash only.

Each person shall be administered an oath attesting that the information on the form is correct and that each applicant is entitled to be married according to North Carolina law. That is, they are not currently married to anyone else, they are doing so voluntarily, and that there are no other legal hindrances to their marriage. If either of the applicants have been divorced, they must tell the official the month and year of the last divorce. If either has been divorced within the last 60 days, the original divorce decree or a certified copy must be provided. There is no waiting period, however, between the divorce and license issuance.

Once the marriage license has been issued, it is valid in any North Carolina county for 60 days. However, it must be returned and filed in the Register of Deed from which it was issued. Two witnesses must be present during the marriage, and they must legibly sign the marriage license in ink. The person performing the marriage must return the license within 10 days of performing the ceremony or be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and pay a $200 fine.

Who CANNOT be married:
Anyone closer than first cousin. Double first cousins cannot marry; when a brother and sister marry another brother and sister, their children are double first cousins. First cousins in NC may marry. Half-blood siblings are considered full-blood siblings when it comes to marriage. The courts have not ruled on relationships derived from adoptions or marriage. That is, it is not clear if step-siblings may marry, or adopted siblings. This is up to the Register of Deeds to decide. If you're not comfortable, don't officiate the wedding.

Same-sex marriages are not allowed or recognized in North Carolina.

Anyone under the age of 14. There are special cases for those older than 14 and younger than 18, but I'm not sure I like the idea of that. If you need to know, check NCGS §51-2 and §51-2.1 for specifics.

Who CAN solemnize/officiate a wedding:
  • A magistrate.
  • An ordained minister of any religious denomination.
  • A minister authorized by a church.
  • Anyone solemnized by a federally or State recognized Indian Nation or Tribe. (Usually the State will defer to the Nation/Tribe as to who is solemnized, but this has never been a legal issue.)
  • Any other authorized person from any religious denomination.

The first three must officiate the wedding and declare them husband and wife. The tribal and last version do not carry this requirement. Some religions, such as Baha'i and the Society of Friends (Quakers) do not recognize officiants, so the laws were rewritten to allow weddings without such restrictions.

When you CAN'T or SHOULDN'T officiate a wedding:
If either party is drunk, high, or otherwise not sober enough to make good decisions.
They don't have a valid NC marriage license. If you solemnize the wedding without a license, you are guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Either party listed on the marriage license isn't there. NC doesn't allow weddings without both parties present.
You don't have two witnesses.
If you don't know both people, ask for ID. This is minor, but CYA.

Things to remember:
You have to file the license. Not the bride and groom, but you.
File the license within 10 days.
Use your Church of the Latter-Day Dude ordination. The law implies that marriages by ULC ministers are not valid in NC.
Be sure to ask bridge and groom if they freely, seriously, and plainly express their consent to become husband and wife.
If you feel more comfortable, get the minister package from the Dudeism store. You don't need it, but printed ordination certificates from the Internet are not valid in NC. The package from the store, however, is.
Fucking have fun.


Hey, dudes... Should I write something for all the states of the USA?
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Masked Dude

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Re: Marriages in the State of North Carolina
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2013, 10:51:52 PM »
A quick word on NCGS §51-1(1) & (2): It's optional that you declare them husband and wife, but if your religion has different religious qualifications, you can overlook that. To keep Dudeism away from any legal trouble, I personally would just declare them that at the end of the ceremony. It's not legal advice, but it's just a CYA thing.
* Carpe diem all over the damn place *
Abide like the Dude when you can
Yell like Walter when you must
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Boston Rockbury

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Re: Marriages in the State of North Carolina
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 02:47:39 AM »
That's fantastic MD. Really useful information and very clear. And yes I'm sure dudes would love to have similar stuff relating to other states.
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BikerDude

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Re: Marriages in the State of North Carolina
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 08:24:21 AM »
Cool!
Sounds like "take any rug in the house".

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Masked Dude

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Re: Marriages in the State of North Carolina
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 09:30:14 PM »
That's fantastic MD. Really useful information and very clear. And yes I'm sure dudes would love to have similar stuff relating to other states.

Thanks for the kind words, dude! I'll get to work on researching the various laws of the states and counties. I'll post when I have something ready!

EDIT: Researching the laws is fairly easy. I've already gotten three states and waiting for emails or phone calls from some localities for specifics.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 12:58:15 AM by Masked Dude »
* Carpe diem all over the damn place *
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NobleElement

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Re: Marriages in the State of North Carolina
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 10:12:41 AM »
Excellent snapshot on North Carolina, masked one.  I think we would all benefit from similar posts regarding the other states in the union.

Thanks for your work.

Masked Dude

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Re: Marriages in the State of North Carolina
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 03:10:58 PM »
You're quite welcome! I decided to go forward with a guide with all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam. So far so good! I'll post details when I'm done.

Thanks again for the kind words, dude!
* Carpe diem all over the damn place *
Abide like the Dude when you can
Yell like Walter when you must
Be like Donny when you are

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Honorary PhD Pop Cultural Studies, Abidance Counseling, Skeptology
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dudeknowsbest

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Re: Marriages in the State of North Carolina
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2020, 11:12:56 AM »
Masked Dude,

Thanks for the info. Hoping you can clarify a little further.

I’m hoping to marry friends in NC, but I’m seeing info saying NC doesn’t recognize online ordination (Ex: https://www.personalweddingsnc.com/nc-wedding-info).

Is the Dudeist ordination recognized in NC?

How is the Dudeist ordination different from other online ordination?

Any suggestions you have are much appreciated.

Thanks,
Dude Knows Best

Masked Dude

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Re: Marriages in the State of North Carolina
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2020, 03:14:45 PM »
Let me preface it with this: I'm not an attorney, so nothing I say is legal advice or should be construed as legal fact. If anyone needs definite clarification, they should consult an attorney approved by the NC State Bar.


The way it was explained to me was that the ULC itself was deemed a scam by NC. There was a case involving bigamy, 1980 State v. Lynch, 301 N.C. 479, where the main point was that certain marriages are voidable, but not necessarily automatically voided. In that case's brief, it was stated "It is not within the power of the State to declare what is or is not a religious body or who is or is not a religious leader within the body." That means the State can't just say that any church that conducts business online is immediately null and void as a "real" church. In the case I mentioned, Lynch was accused of bigamy and was trying to argue that ULC marriages aren't real. The person with whom I spoke cannot find anything other than ULC mentioned in precedent or NCGS.

I wish I could get that person to come here and explain it in legal terms. The main idea is that other than the ULC and unless someone in court tries to press the issue it's legal. When I turned in the paperwork on both occasions, I specifically asked the registers if I have to bring anything to prove I'm ordained. They both times said no.

However, again I have to reiterate I'm not an attorney. If anyone isn't sure, all I can suggest is don't do it and consult an attorney.
* Carpe diem all over the damn place *
Abide like the Dude when you can
Yell like Walter when you must
Be like Donny when you are

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Highly Unofficial Discord: https://discord.gg/XMpfCSr

 

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