Confidential marriage license in california

That is important because if family of the elder abuse victim know while the victim is alive that a marriage has taken place then they can go to court to contest the marriage while the victim can still be questioned.

Marriage License & Ceremony | Napa County, CA

Not surprisingly the confidential marriage license is used by predators who do not want anyone to know what they are up to. For example, one unscrupulous estate planning attorney used the confidential marriage license to marry his elderly client. Various arguments can be made that confidential marriages are still relevant today.


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First, they help protect you against modern day identity theft. The items of information that are obtainable from the public marriage certificates are very useful to other types of predators who commit credit card fraud. Second, some same sex couples wish to marry but to keep their marriage confidential. Third, similarly well-known celebrities may wish to marry in privacy, which protects both spouses.

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How to Obtain a Marriage License in California

Enter Email. But subsequently, new laws got enacted to make confidential marriage more like regular marriage, apart from the fact that confidential marriage licenses can only be obtained with a court order or by one of the spouses. After the state stopped requiring blood and rubella tests for public licenses, the numbers of confidential marriages dropped. Still, for some, such as paparazzi-evading celebrities, confidential marriages remain appealing. In recent years, about one out of five marriage licenses issued 41, out of , in fiscal year was confidential, according to California Department of Public Health estimates.

Confidential marriage could see another boost if the U. Supreme Court comes out for same-sex marriage. Wary of societal prejudice, some gay couples may prefer to marry without bigoted family members or bosses being able to find out. But the real power of confidential marriage could come into play if the court leaves Prop 8 in place—or issues a ruling that leaves the question of same-sex marriage open in California.

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In that case, I would submit that—as a temporary measure until full marriage equality arrives—a fitting compromise would be for the state and its voters to grant same-sex couples a constitutional exemption to marry confidentially. For those who want their marriage publicly known, nothing requires couples to keep a confidential marriage confidential; you can televise your ceremony if you want.


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Cloaking a public record makes it a little bit harder for you to be targeted by marketers or, for that matter, identity thieves. Privacy-loving people might come here from out of state to marry and honeymoon, and our economy could use the boost. And if more couples settle here and start families, so much the better.

California is getting older, and needs more children.

A Marriage License and Ceremony All In The Same Place

Heck, maybe we all should embrace confidential marriage. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our privacy and cookie policy. No paywall. No ads. No partisan hacks.

What Is a Confidential Marriage License and Why Does California Offer Them?

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