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Marriage

As of August 2013, Minnesota joined those states allowing same-sex couples to marry on the same terms as different-sex couples. These marriages are fully recognized in MInnesota, by the federal government, and, at very least, in those other states that also permit same-sex couples to marry (click to see a map showing those states with marriage equality). to see a map showing those states with marriage equality).

Couples seeking to marry in Minnesota must obtain a marriage license by filing an application at a Minnesota courthouse, and paying an administrative fee (this fee may be reduced if the couple documents completing pre-marital counseling). There is typically a five-day waiting period between the time an application is filed and a license is issued, but this can be waived by a district judge.

A license obtained in Minnesota may be used anywhere in the state. The marriage must be performed by a registered officiant (such as a member of the clergy or a judge) in front of two witnesses. One or both spouses may change their names through the marriage process in most cases.

Same-sex Minnesota marriages may not be recognized in states that do not provide any form of legal recognition for same-sex couples, such as the Dakotas; may be partially recognized in Wisconsin as the equivalent of a "domestic partnership;" or could be recognized by states that offer "civil unions" as the equivalent of that status. Couples anticipating interstate travel may wish to consider having copies of their marriage license, or power of attorney forms or health-care directives, available in case of emergency.

Couples not wishing to marry but who wish to document the nature of their relationship may wish to consider registering as domestic partners and/or completing a domestic-partnership agreement.

It is worth noting that under Minnesota law, if one spouse in a married couple dies without a will, the surviving spouse is likely to inherit the bulk of that person's estate. However, this does not extend to couples who register with a Minnesota municipality as domestic partners, or who only complete a domestic-partnership agreement. All people are encouraged to complete estate planning appropriate to their circumstances and review their plans regularly.

 

 
 

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