State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Wyoming > Title20 > Chapter1





20-1-101. Marriage a civil contract.


Marriageis a civil contract between a male and a female person to which the consent ofthe parties capable of contracting is essential.


20-1-102. Minimum marriageable age; exception; parental consent.



(a) At the time of marriage the parties shall be at leastsixteen (16) years of age except as otherwise provided.


(b) All marriages involving a person under sixteen (16) yearsof age are prohibited and voidable, unless before contracting the marriage ajudge of a court of record in Wyoming approves the marriage and authorizes thecounty clerk to issue a license therefor.


(c) When either party is a minor, no license shall be grantedwithout the verbal consent, if present, and written consent, if absent, of thefather, mother, guardian or person having the care and control of the minor.Written consent shall be proved by the testimony of at least one (1) competentwitness.


20-1-103. License; required.


(a) Before solemnization of any marriage in this state, amarriage license shall be obtained from a Wyoming county clerk.


(b) Application for a marriage license shall be made by one (1)of the parties to the marriage before the license is issued. Upon receipt of anapplication, the county clerk shall ascertain by the testimony of a competentwitness and the applicant, the names, the social security numbers of theparties who have valid social security numbers, residences and ages of theparties and whether there is any legal impediment to the parties entering intothe marriage contract according to the laws of the state of their residence.The clerk shall enter the facts ascertained in a book kept by him for thatpurpose, except for the social security numbers which shall be provided to thestate office of vital records and not made a part of the county public record.He may issue a license to marry and shall date the license on the date ofissuance except as otherwise provided.


(c) Unless there is an order to waive the requirements of thissection by a judge of a court of record in the county pursuant to W.S.20-1-105, the clerk shall refuse to issue a license if:


(i) Either of the parties is legally incompetent to enter intoa marriage contract according to the law of this state; or


(ii) There is any legal impediment; or


(iii) Either party is a minor and the consent of a parent orguardian has not been given.


(d) A marriage license obtained from a Wyoming county clerkshall expire one (1) year from the date the license was issued if the partieshave not solemnized the marriage. The expiration date shall be shown on themarriage license. Upon expiration of a marriage license, the parties shallapply for and obtain a new marriage license before solemnization of theirmarriage in this state.


20-1-104. Repealed by Laws 1985, ch. 22, 2.



20-1-105. Judge may order license issued.


(a) If any county clerk refuses to issue a license to marry, orin case of circumstances arising which would necessitate the waiver of any one(1) or more of the requirements of W.S. 20-1-102 and 20-1-103(b) and (c),either applicant for the license may apply to the district court of the countyfor the issuance of a license without compliance with one (1) or more of thoserequirements. If the judge finds that a license should be issued, or suchcircumstances exist that it is proper that any one (1) or more of therequirements should be waived, the judge may order in writing the issuance ofthe license. Upon the order of the judge being filed with the county clerk, thecounty clerk shall issue the license at the time specified in the order. No feeor court costs shall be charged or taxed for the order.


(b) If either party is under sixteen (16) years of age, theparents or guardians may apply to any judge of a court of record in the countyof residence of the minor for an order authorizing the marriage and directingthe issuance of a marriage license. If the judge believes it advisable, heshall enter an order authorizing the marriage and directing the county clerk toissue a license. Upon filing of a certified copy of the order with the countyclerk, the county clerk shall issue a license and endorse thereon the fact ofthe issuance of the order. No person authorized to perform marriage ceremoniesin Wyoming shall perform any marriage ceremony if either party is under the agespecified by this subsection unless the license contains the endorsement.


(c) Before issuing the order provided by this section the judgemay require affidavits or other proof of the competency of the parties or ofany other facts necessitating or making the order advisable. The order may bein substantially the following form:


I …., the undersigned…., a judge of the …. court, a court of record in and for …. county,Wyoming, hereby order that a marriage license may issue to …. of ….(address) and …. of …. (address) on the …. day of …. (year) Date: …..


20-1-106. Who may solemnize marriage; form of ceremony.


(a) Every district or circuit court judge, district courtcommissioner, supreme court justice, magistrate and every licensed or ordainedminister of the gospel, bishop, priest or rabbi, or other qualified personacting in accordance with the traditions or rites for the solemnization ofmarriage of any religion, denomination or religious society, may perform theceremony of marriage in this state.


(b) In the solemnization of marriage no particular form isrequired, except that the parties shall solemnly declare in the presence of theperson performing the ceremony and at least two (2) attending witnesses thatthey take each other as husband and wife.


20-1-107. Certificate of marriage.



(a) When a marriage is solemnized, the person performing theceremony shall give one (1) of the parties a certificate under his hand andsigned by the witnesses to the marriage, specifying the names, ages and placeof residence of the parties married, the names and residences of at least two(2) witnesses who were present at the marriage, and the time and place thereof.


(b) The county clerk of each county in the state shall recordall returns of marriages in a book kept for that purpose within one (1) monthafter receipt.


(c) The original certificate and record of marriage made by theperson performing the ceremony and the record thereof or a certified copy ofthe certificate or record is admissible in all courts and places as presumptiveevidence of the fact of the marriage.


20-1-108. Offenses relating to marriage generally.


Ifthe county clerk neglects to record a marriage certificate, or if any personperforms a marriage ceremony knowing that he is not legally authorized to do soor knowing of any legal impediment to the proposed marriage, he is guilty of amisdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars($500.00) or imprisonment for not exceeding one (1) year.


20-1-109. When marriage solemnized by unauthorized person valid.


Nomarriage solemnized in any manner authorized by W.S. 20-1-106, shall be deemedor adjudged to be void, nor is the validity of the marriage in any way affectedbecause of a lack of jurisdiction or authority of the person performing the ceremonyof marriage if the marriage is consummated with a full belief on the part ofthe persons so married, or either of them, that the person performing theceremony was lawfully authorized to do so.


20-1-110. Marriage ceremony according to rites and customs ofreligious societies or assemblies.


Anyreligious society or religious assembly may perform the ceremony of marriage inthis state according to the rites and customs of the society or assembly. Theclerk or keeper of the minutes, proceedings or other book of the society orassembly wherein the marriage occurs, or if none then the moderator or personpresiding in the society or assembly, shall make out and transmit to the countyclerk of the county a certificate of the marriage.


20-1-111. Foreign marriages.


Allmarriage contracts which are valid by the laws of the country in whichcontracted are valid in this state.


20-1-112. Repealed by Laws 1995, ch. 117, 1.



20-1-113. Legitimacy of children presumed.


The legitimacy of all children conceived or born during themarriage is rebuttably presumed pursuant to W.S. 14-2-504.




20-1-201. Separate estate of real and personal property; not subjectto control of spouse; exceptions.


Allproperty belonging to a married person as his separate property which he ownsat the time of his marriage or which during marriage he acquires in good faithfrom any person by descent or otherwise, together with all rents, issues,increase and profits thereof, is during marriage his sole and separate propertyunder his sole control and may be held, owned, possessed and enjoyed by him thesame as though he were single. Such property is not subject to the disposal,control or interference of his spouse and is exempt from execution orattachment for the debts of his spouse if the property was not conveyed to himby his spouse in fraud of his creditors. The necessary expenses of the familyand the education of the children are chargeable upon the property of bothhusband and wife, or either of them, for which they may be sued jointly orseparately.


20-1-202. Rights and limitations of married persons incident to themarriage relationship.



(a) Any married person may transfer his separate property inthe same manner and to the same extent as if he were unmarried and he may makecontracts and incur obligations and liabilities, all of which may be enforcedagainst him to the same extent and in the same manner as if he were unmarried.


(b) Any person may, while married, sue and be sued in allmatters having relation to his property, person or reputation, in the samemanner as if he were single.


(c) When a married person sues or is sued alone, proceedingsshall be had and judgment rendered and enforced as if he were unmarried. Hisseparate property and estate is liable for any judgment against him but he isentitled to the benefit of all exemptions for heads of families.


(d) When any person against whom liabilities exist marries andhas or acquires lands, judgment on the liability may be rendered against her,to be levied on the lands only.


(e) A person is not liable for the debts and liabilities of hisspouse contracted before marriage without an assumption thereof in writing.