Marriage is a legally-binding relationship between two people.

In the US, this means the couple now have a number of legal responsibilities and rights, including:

  • Inheriting property from each other
  • Making medical and financial decisions for each other
  • Ability to open a joint bank account and/or tax return
  • Ability to foster and adopt children together
  • Sponsoring each other for immigration purposes.

In most societies, marriage is considered a social and cultural institution that is an important part of the community. It is typically marked by a formal ceremony, during which the couple makes vows to each other in the presence of friends, family, and a qualified officiant, such as a minister, rabbi, or justice of the peace.

Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriage is a legally recognized union of two people of the same sex.
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark ruling in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, which recognized that same-sex couples have the same fundamental right to marry as opposite-sex couples in all 50 states.

This requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. This means that same-sex couples have the same legal rights and responsibilities as opposite-sex couples when it comes to marriage.

Browse more family law articles.