Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 3. MARRIAGE [300 - 536]

  ( Division 3 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

PART 1. VALIDITY OF MARRIAGE [300 - 310]
  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

300.
  

(a) Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between two persons, to which the consent of the parties capable of making that contract is necessary. Consent alone does not constitute marriage. Consent must be followed by the issuance of a license and solemnization as authorized by this division, except as provided by Section 425 and Part 4 (commencing with Section 500).

(b) For purposes of this part, the document issued by the county clerk is a marriage license until it is registered with the county recorder, at which time the license becomes a marriage certificate.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 82, Sec. 2. (SB 1306) Effective January 1, 2015.)

301.
  

Two unmarried persons 18 years of age or older, who are not otherwise disqualified, are capable of consenting to and consummating marriage.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 82, Sec. 3. (SB 1306) Effective January 1, 2015.)

302.
  

(a) An unmarried person under 18 years of age may be issued a marriage license upon obtaining a court order granting permission to the underage person or persons to marry, in accordance with the requirements described in Section 304.

(b) The court order and written consent of at least one of the parents or the guardian of each underage person shall be filed with the clerk of the court, and a certified copy of the order shall be presented to the county clerk at the time the marriage license is issued.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 660, Sec. 3. (SB 273) Effective January 1, 2019.)

303.
  

If it appears to the satisfaction of the court by application of a minor that the minor requires a written consent to marry and that the minor has no parent or has no parent capable of consenting, the court may make an order consenting to the issuance of a marriage license and granting permission to the minor to marry, in accordance with the requirements described in Section 304. The order shall be filed with the clerk of the court and a certified copy of the order shall be presented to the county clerk at the time the marriage license is issued.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 660, Sec. 4. (SB 273) Effective January 1, 2019.)

304.
  

(a) In determining whether to issue a court order granting permission to marry pursuant to Section 302 or 303, the court shall do all of the following:

(1) Require Family Court Services to separately interview the parties intending to marry and, if applicable, at least one of the parents or the guardian of each party who is a minor. If more than one parent or guardian is interviewed, the parents or guardians shall be interviewed separately.

(2) Require Family Court Services to prepare and submit to the court a written report, containing any finding of potential force, threat, persuasion, fraud, coercion, or duress by either of the parties or their family members relating to the intended marriage. The report shall also contain recommendations of Family Court Services for either granting or denying the parties permission to marry. If Family Court Services knows or reasonably suspects that either party is a victim of child abuse or neglect, Family Court Services shall submit a report of the known or suspected child abuse or neglect to the county child protective services agency.

(3) After receiving the report of the findings and recommendations of Family Court Services, as described in paragraph (2), separately interview in camera each of the parties prior to making a final determination regarding the court order.

(4) Consider whether there is evidence of coercion or undue influence on the minor.

(b) If the court issues an order granting the parties permission to marry pursuant to Section 302 or 303, and if one or both of the parties are 17 years of age or younger, the parties shall be eligible to request a marriage license no earlier than 30 days from the time the court order was issued.

(c) As part of the court order granting permission to marry under Section 302 or 303, the court shall, if it considers it necessary, require the parties to the prospective marriage of a minor to participate in premarital counseling concerning social, economic, and personal responsibilities incident to marriage. The parties shall not be required to confer with counselors provided by religious organizations of any denomination. In determining whether to order the parties to participate in the premarital counseling, the court shall consider, among other factors, the ability of the parties to pay for the counseling. The court may impose a reasonable fee to cover the cost of any premarital counseling provided by the county or the court. The fees shall be used exclusively to cover the cost of the counseling services authorized by this section.

(d) (1) Only for purposes of completing the document described in Section 102233 of the Health and Safety Code, and not for purposes of making a determination regarding the court order, the gender of each party intending to marry, if provided, shall be documented on the court order granting permission to marry.

(2) The date of birth of each party intending to marry shall also be documented on the court order granting permission to marry.

(3) For purposes of the requirements on the person solemnizing the marriage under subdivision (b) of Section 423, and the requirements on the local registrar under subdivision (a) of Section 102356 of the Health and Safety Code, the court shall provide parties who are granted permission to marry with a copy of the court order granting permission to marry.

(e) Upon issuance of the order granting permission to marry, the minor shall be provided with the following information:

(1) The rights and responsibilities of an emancipated minor, including, but not limited to, the effects of emancipation as described in Sections 7050 to 7052, inclusive.

(2) (A) The circumstances under which a marriage may be determined by a court to be void or voidable and adjudged a nullity and the procedure for obtaining that judicial determination.

(B) The procedures for legal separation or dissolution of marriage.

(3) Telephone numbers for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

(4) The conditions under which an unemancipated minor may leave home and seek to remain in a shelter or otherwise live separately from his or her parent or guardian, and whether the consent or acquiescence of a parent or guardian is required to remain away from the home of the parent or guardian, the rights of an unemancipated minor to apply for a protective or restraining order to prevent abuse, and the rights of a minor to enter into contracts, including contracts for legal services and mental health counseling.

(f) (1) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply to a minor who is 17 years of age and who has achieved a high school diploma or a high school equivalency certificate.

(2) Subdivision (b) shall not apply to a minor who is 16 or 17 years of age and who is pregnant or whose prospective spouse is pregnant.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 660, Sec. 5. (SB 273) Effective January 1, 2019.)

305.
  

Consent to and solemnization of marriage may be proved under the same general rules of evidence as facts are proved in other cases.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

306.
  

Except as provided in Section 307, a marriage shall be licensed, solemnized, and authenticated, and the authenticated marriage license shall be returned to the county recorder of the county where the marriage license was issued, as provided in this part. Noncompliance with this part by a nonparty to the marriage does not invalidate the marriage.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 816, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2007. Operative January 1, 2008, by Sec. 56 of Ch. 816.)

306.5.
  

(a) Parties to a marriage shall not be required to have the same name. Neither party shall be required to change his or her name. A person’s name shall not change upon marriage unless that person elects to change his or her name pursuant to subdivision (b).

(b) (1) One party or both parties to a marriage may elect to change the middle or last names, or both, by which that party wishes to be known after solemnization of the marriage by entering the new name in the spaces provided on the marriage license application without intent to defraud.

(2) A person may adopt any of the following last names pursuant to paragraph (1):

(A) The current last name of the other spouse.

(B) The last name of either spouse given at birth.

(C) A name combining into a single last name all or a segment of the current last name or the last name of either spouse given at birth.

(D) A combination of last names.

(3) A person may adopt any of the following middle names pursuant to paragraph (1):

(A) The current last name of either spouse.

(B) The last name of either spouse given at birth.

(C) A combination of the current middle name and the current last name of the person or spouse.

(D) A combination of the current middle name and the last name given at birth of the person or spouse.

(4) (A) An election by a person to change his or her name pursuant to paragraph (1) shall serve as a record of the name change. A certified copy of a marriage certificate containing the new name, or retaining the former name, shall constitute proof that the use of the new name or retention of the former name is lawful.

(B) A certified copy of a marriage certificate shall be accepted as identification establishing a true, full name for purposes of Section 12800.7 of the Vehicle Code.

(C) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the Department of Motor Vehicles from accepting as identification other documents establishing a true, full name for purposes of Section 12800.7 of the Vehicle Code. Those documents may include, without limitation, a certified copy of a marriage certificate recording a marriage outside of this state.

(D) This section shall be applied in a manner consistent with the requirements of Sections 1653.5 and 12801 of the Vehicle Code.

(5) The adoption of a new name, or the choice not to adopt a new name, by means of a marriage license application pursuant to paragraph (1) shall only be made at the time the marriage license is issued. After a marriage certificate is registered by the local registrar, the certificate shall not be amended to add a new name or change the name adopted pursuant to paragraph (1). An amendment may be issued to correct a clerical error in the new name fields on the marriage license. In this instance, the amendment shall be signed by one of the parties to the marriage and the county clerk or his or her deputy, and the reason for the amendment shall be stated as correcting a clerical error. A clerical error as used in this part is an error made by the county clerk, his or her deputy, or a notary authorized to issue confidential marriage licenses, whereby the information shown in the new name field does not match the information shown on the marriage license application. This requirement shall not abrogate the right of either party to adopt a different name through usage at a future date, or to petition the superior court for a change of name pursuant to Title 8 (commencing with Section 1275) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate the common law right of any person to change his or her name, or the right of any person to petition the superior court for a change of name pursuant to Title 8 (commencing with Section 1275) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 474, Sec. 3. (AB 2882) Effective January 1, 2017.)

307.
  

This division, so far as it relates to the solemnizing of marriage, is not applicable to members of a particular religious society or denomination not having clergy for the purpose of solemnizing marriage or entering the marriage relation, if all of the following requirements are met:

(a) The parties to the marriage sign and endorse on the form prescribed by the State Department of Public Health, showing all of the following:

(1) The fact, time, and place of entering into the marriage.

(2) The printed names, signatures, and mailing addresses of two witnesses to the ceremony.

(3) The religious society or denomination of the parties to the marriage, and that the marriage was entered into in accordance with the rules and customs of that religious society or denomination. The statement of the parties to the marriage that the marriage was entered into in accordance with the rules and customs of the religious society or denomination is conclusively presumed to be true.

(b) The License and Certificate of Non-Clergy Marriage, endorsed pursuant to subdivision (a), is returned to the county recorder of the county in which the license was issued within 10 days after the ceremony.

(Amended (as amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 816) by Stats. 2007, Ch. 483, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2008.)

308.
  

A marriage contracted outside this state that would be valid by laws of the jurisdiction in which the marriage was contracted is valid in California.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 474, Sec. 4. (AB 2882) Effective January 1, 2017.)

309.
  

If either party to a marriage denies the marriage, or refuses to join in a declaration of the marriage, the other party may proceed, by action pursuant to Section 103450 of the Health and Safety Code, to have the validity of the marriage determined and declared.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 816, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2007. Operative January 1, 2008, by Sec. 56 of Ch. 816.)

310.
  

Marriage is dissolved only by one of the following:

(a) The death of one of the parties.

(b) A judgment of dissolution of marriage.

(c) A judgment of nullity of marriage.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

FAMFamily Code - FAM