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If I get married in another state, is it valid in the state I am living in and do I need to take my husband's last name?

San Jose, CA |

I want to get married in a different state with my boyfriend but I am wondering if it is only valid in the state we are going to get married at and if I should take his last name because we want to to marry in a different state and later have another wedding on the state I am in

Attorney Answers 3


You can get married in another *country* and it will be valid here. Legally valid marriages, no matter where they were performed, are considered valid in California courts. (Make sure that you follow the laws of the state that you're getting married in, i.e. get a marriage license if they require it and most do.)

If you have another wedding, later on, then it won't be a wedding so much as a wedding celebration.

As for the name change, this is completely optional.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

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If you are legally married somewhere else, it will be legal in whatever State you are in.
You do not have to take your bf's last name.

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As long as you get lawfully married (i.e., follow the rules of the jurisdiction where you get married, such as apply for a license, have a ceremony conducted by an authorized person, and then submit the signed license to the County Recorder's office), then no matter where you get married, it will be recognized in any state.

There is no law in CA requiring you to take the last name of your spouse.

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