Cullman, Ala – Beginning August 29, 2019, couples in Alabama will begin following a different process of becoming legally married. Lawmakers approved a bill (Act# 2019-340) in the 2019 legislative session that changed the procedure necessary for a marriage to be valid in the State of Alabama.
The steps to have a valid marriage under the new law are as follows:
• Obtain and complete the marriage certificate form provided by the Probate Office website (http://cullmancourts.org/probatecourt.html) or online with the Department of Public Health.
• Both parties must sign the completed form in the presence of a notary with identification as required. The state has no requirement for a ceremony or proceeding. Whether a ceremony proceeding is performed or not shall have no effect on the validity of the marriage.
• Forms cannot be changed or altered once notarized and they must be legible.
• A marriage conforming to the new requirements shall be valid on the date the marriage is executed by both parties, providing the affidavits, forms, and data are recorded in the Probate Judge’s Office WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS of the date of the last party’s signature.
• Deliver the completed notarized form to the Probate Office for recording, along with the filing fee of $71.00.
The new law shall not affect any other legal aspects of marriage in this state.
The Probate Office must Receive and Record the ORIGINAL FORM within thirty (30) days of the date of the last signature. It is very important to keep this in mind when mailing the form to the Probate Office for Recording.
Judge Brown wants to make sure the people in Cullman County understand the new marriage law and the process. She plans to have forms available at the Probate Office and on the Probate Court’s web-site. If there are any questions about the new marriage law or the form please contact the Probate Office at 256-775-4802 or 256-775-4803.