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The Pillars of a Legal Marriage

As a matter of statutory law and common law that dates back thousands of years, marriage is both a cultural and legal fact of life. One can be married in a number of different ways yet not the considered legally married in the eyes of law and society. For instance, legal marriage benefits usually only a crew to those who have a signed and properly executed marriage license or marriage certificate. This is why it might be important to know what is and is not a legal marriage.

In fact, this millennium has seen the issue of what exactly a marriage is become roiled in controversy and the subject of much passionate discussion among many people, including legal scholars, clergymen and women, men and women of all socioeconomic strata and infinite numbers of pundits and bloggers, it seems. Just the concept of legal gay marriages seems to have ignited a firestorm in some parts of the country.

Find Helpful Online Resources and Definitions

There are a number of questions that usually pertain to the definition of legal marriage. Perhaps the first thing that needs to be understood is what exactly constitutes a legal marriage and what might at first blush seem to be a duly-constituted marriage but which is actually more of a domestic partnership or other arrangement which might not have the full protection of the law in some circumstances.

In the United States, the power to generally regulate marriage is left up to each of the 50 states, though the Congress enacted a law some years back called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that seeks to leave it up to each state to decide what is and isn't a legal marriage and who may enter into such a marriage. It also provides that each state is not legally bound to recognize a same-sex marriage carried out in another state if it chooses not to.

This matter is being strongly disputed in more than several of the states, with California most recently vigorously debating the matter among its citizens. Regardless, marriage as both a legal and cultural institution shows no signs of going away anytime in the near future, which is why it's a good idea to understand a few other issues revolving around.

As far as benefits go, some states and even many employers do not yet recognize domestic partnerships or even what are called "common law" marriages as being binding for the purposes of distribution of benefits, though this area is rapidly changing to reflect the need to address domestic partnerships in a humane and logical manner.

Additionally, there are a number of outstanding commercial or business websites that specialize in helping people address most questions that have to do with marriage, a definition for what it is and is not, and he writes that attach to common law marriage or gay marriage -- including legal gay marriages carried out in states that permit such ceremonies -- and how to apply for licenses and other documents prior to being married.

These sites can be especially helpful when it comes to the issue of preparing to be married, and almost all of them can handle just about any part of the process from start to finish for a nominal fee that is really quite reasonable when one considers how legally complicated and confusing something like legal marriage rights, for instance, can be to the average layman.

Never fail to make use of the full power of the Internet when it comes to something like this. Just the use of a simple search engine and the entry of a key phrase like "legal marriage states" can help a person find literally hundreds of helpful definitions, websites or hyperlinks to other sites that can quickly answer any issues or questions that a person might have when it comes to marriage.