Massachusetts Marriage: Heterosexual, Same-Sex and Common Law Marriages

Massachusetts heterosexual and same-sex marriage requirements, plus common-law marriage information.

What are the requirements for getting legally married in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts does not require a blood test before a marriage license will be issued. You can marry immediately after your marriage license is issued, and your license is good for 60 days after it's issued. After that time, you'll have to get a new one before you can marry.

In Massachusetts, as in most states, you must be of the age of consent, not be too closely related to your intended spouse, not be married to anyone else, and have sufficient "mental capacity," meaning you understand what you are doing when you marry.

Does Massachusetts have common-law marriage?

No. In Massachusetts, you must obtain a marriage license and enter into a legal marriage in order to be considered married. Living together and taking the same name don't create a common-law marriage.

Does Massachusetts have same-sex marriage?

Yes. Massachusetts allows same-sex couples to marry under the same laws that apply to heterosexual couples. However, the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages entered into in Massachusetts.

Learn about the proper legal steps to define and protect your relationship in the eyes of the law with Living Together: A Legal Guide, by Attorney Ralph Warner, Toni Ihara, J.D. and Attorney Frederick Hertz (Nolo), or Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples, by attorneys Denis Clifford, Frederick Hertz and Emily Doskow (Nolo).

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