Making the decision to get married is one of the most significant choices that you'll make in life. Whether you've decided on a splashy wedding or an intimate affair, there are legal matters that must be addressed before you walk down the aisle, including meeting specific age, consent, and capacity requirements.
Although marrying in Indiana isn't drastically different than marrying in any other state, you should become familiar with Indiana's marriage laws to ensure that your impending marriage will be on solid legal ground.
Summary of Indiana Marriage Law
While it's beneficial to read a statute in its entirety, understanding much of the content can be challenging as laws are usually written in language that's not easy on the eyes. You can get help by consulting with an attorney and by reading a plain language summary of the law. See the chart below for an easy to follow summary of Indiana's marriage laws.
Indiana Code Title 31:
For a valid marriage in Indiana:
- The couple must obtain a marriage license;
- The couple must participate in a marriage ceremony; and
- The ceremony must be performed by someone who is legally authorized to solemnize the marriage.
All states including Indiana have specific marriage license requirements.
Required Notice of Health Information
Although blood tests aren't required, the clerk of the circuit court must distribute information about sexually transmitted diseases to the parties when they apply for a marriage license. The clerk may provide the applicants with either written information or may show the applicants videotaped information.
Types of Marriages
These marriages are prohibited in Indiana:
- Marriage between individuals where one of them has a living spouse.
- Marriage between individuals that are more closely related than second cousins; there is an exception for couples when they are first cousins and both parties are at least 65 years of age.
If a party is at least 17, they may marry if they obtain parental consent.
Although there are still laws on the books that symbolically prohibit it, same sex marriage is legal in all states, including Indiana.
Common Law Marriage
Indiana doesn't allow common law marriages, but it recognizes valid common law marriages from other states.
The following persons are authorized to conduct a valid marriage ceremony in Indiana:
- A member of the clergy of a religious organization, including a minister, a priest, a bishop, an archbishop, or a rabbi;
- A judge;
- A mayor, within the mayor's county
- A clerk or a clerk-treasurer of a city or town;
- A clerk of the circuit court;
- The governor;
- The lieutenant governor;
- A member of the general assembly;
- The Friends Church;
- The German Baptists;
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; or
- An imam of a masjid (mosque).
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Indiana Marriage Laws: Related Resources
Have Questions About Indiana Marriage Laws? Connect with an Attorney
If you're getting ready to wed, you might have concerns about obtaining a license, getting parental consent, or other marriage law issues. Talking to a skilled attorney can ease your anxiety and allow you to focus on your future. Connect with an Indiana family law attorney today to get started.