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New Jersey Marriage Laws

Whether you've gotten engaged spontaneously or have planned it for a while, you've decided that you're ready to get married. Besides making plans about when and where the big day will occur, you also have to take care of some legal business before you walk down the aisle. This includes making sure that you meet particular age, consent, and capacity requirements as well as specific prerequisites to make your marriage valid in New Jersey.

New Jersey Marriage Laws at a Glance

An attorney knows best when it comes to a complete statutory analysis, but anyone can certainly benefit from reading a breakdown of the law written in readable language. See the chart below for an overview of New Jersey's marriage laws.


  • New Jersey Marriages and Married People Section 37:1-10 (common law marriage)
  • New Jersey Marriages and Married People Section 37:1-13 (authorized persons to conduct ceremony)
  • New Jersey Marriages and Married People Section 37:1-27 (genetic disease information available)
  • New Jersey Marriages and Married People Section 1:17.3 (proxy marriage)

Validity of Marriage

Marriage Licenses

Although the law is similar in other states, New Jersey has specific marriage license requirements. Below are a few key items to note.

  • There are no residency requirements.
  • Blood tests and/or physicals aren't required prior to issuance of the license.
  • A licensing officer or other person issuing the license provides information about genetic diseases (including, but not limited to Cooley's Anemia, Sickle Cell Anemia, and Tay Sachs Disease) and where to get tested.

Waiting Period

You must wait 72 hours after getting the license before you can marry.

Types of Marriage

Common Law Marriage

New Jersey doesn't permit common law marriage.

Same Sex Marriage

Due to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, same sex marriage is legal in all states, including New Jersey. New Jersey codified this right in 2021.

Marriage Ceremony

Proxy Marriage

  • A marriage by proxy is a marriage where someone with a power of attorney stands in for one of the spouses who can't be present.
  • New Jersey allows a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard who is stationed overseas and serving in a conflict or a war (and unable to appear) to marry by proxy.

Penalties for Violating Marriage Ceremony Laws

  • A person who issues a marriage license contrary to New Jersey's laws commits a disorderly persons offense.
  • Any person not authorized to perform marriages who actually performs a marriage ceremony has committed a disorderly persons offense.

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.

New Jersey Marriage Laws: Related Resources

Need Help with New Jersey Marriage Laws? Contact a Family Law Attorney

If you have an impending marriage, then you might have concerns with how your situation relates to New Jersey's marriage laws. Gain peace of mind by talking to an experienced family law attorney near you right away.

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