mar·riage /'mar-ij/ n
1: the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a legal, consensual, and contractual relationship recognized and sanctioned by and dissolvable only by law see also divorce
2: the ceremony containing certain legal formalities by which a marriage relationship is created

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I (intimate relationship) noun accouplement, alliance, bond, close relationship, closeness, cohabitation, couplement, coupling, intimacy, joining, linkage, linking, tie, union associated concepts: common-law marriage II (wedlock) noun bond of matrimony, cohabitation, coniugium, conjugal union, conjugality, connubiality, espousal, espousement, marriage tie, married life, married state, married status, matrimonium, matrimony, nuptiae, nuptial bond, nuptial tie, spousal, wedded state, wedding associated concepts: adultery, annulment, bigamous marriage, consensual marriage, consummation of marriage, contract of marriage, coverture, curtesy, divorce, dower, marriage ceremony, marriage license, marriage promise, polygamous marriage, solemnize a marriage, void marriage, voidable marriage foreign phrases:
- Nuptias non concubitus sed consensus facit. — Not cohabitation but consent makes the valid marriage.
- Pater est quern nuptioe demonstrant — He is the father whom the marriage points out.
- Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio. — The presumption is always in favor of the validity of a marriage
- Subsequens matrimonium toilit peccatum praecedens. — A subsequent marriage removes a previous fault.
III index cohabitation (married state), matrimony

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

A legally recognized union between a man and a woman as husband and wife.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

the agreement of two persons of the opposing sex to become man and wife. In most legal systems, marriage is accepted and treated as a contract, but it is one the incidents of which the parties cannot vary. There are formalities by way of advertisement.
Part II of the Marriage Act 1949 regulates marriage according to the rites of the Church of England, whether by the publication of banns of matrimony or on the authority of a special licence, a common licence or the certificate of a superintendent registrar. Similar provisions apply in Scotland, although irregular marriage by cohabitation (cohabitation with habit and repute) is known.
There is a prohibition (in most Western countries) against marriage to other persons while the marriage subsists, this being restrained by the crime of bigamy. The basis of the institution is the permanent and indissoluble union of a man and woman. Relaxation of divorce laws has made the permanence of the relationship de facto contingent. Attempts have been made by homosexuals to marry but these have failed.
Most systems prevent the marriage of parties related one to the other, and the scope of the restriction is usually defined by reference to prohibited degrees.
Restriction is also usually placed on the age of parties. In Scotland and England it is 16.
In England the general rule (from Section 18 of the Wills Act 1837, as amended by the Administration of Justice Act 1982) is to the effect that marriage will operate to revoke a will unless it can be shown that the will was made in contemplation of marriage to a particular person (on whom benefits were conferred by the will). In Scotland the will is not revoked, but See conditio si testator sine liberis decesserit.
In the context of immigration where a person has been given leave to enter the UK temporarily and then marries someone settled here, that person may apply for an extension of stay as a spouse, initially for a period of 12 months and thereafter for settlement. An extension, however, will not be granted unless the Secretary of State is satisfied with the following:
(i) the marriage was not entered into primarily to obtain settlement here;
(ii) the parties have met; (iii) the applicant has not remained in breach of immigration laws; (iv) the marriage is not taking place after a decision to deport or a recommendation for deportation has been made; (v) the marriage has not been terminated; (vi) each of the parties intends to live permanently with the other as his or her spouse; (vii) there will be adequate accommodation for the parties and their dependants, without recourse to public funds, in accommodation of their own or that they occupy themselves; and (viii) the parties will be able to maintain themselves and their dependants adequately without resource to public funds.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

The legal union of two people. Once a couple is married, their rights and responsibilities toward one another concerning property and support are defined by the laws of the state in which they live. A marriage can only be terminated by a court granting a divorce or annulment.
Category: Divorce & Family Law

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

n. The legal relation of a man and woman as husband and wife.
@ common-law marriage
Marital relationship arising not from formal ceremony but from intention to hold out as a married couple, combined with living together for a requisite period of years that may be specified by statute; abolished in many states.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

The legal status, condition, or relationship that results from a contract by which one man and one woman, who have the capacity to enter into such an agreement, mutually promise to live together in the relationship of husband and wife in law for life, or until the legal termination of the relationship.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

The legal status, condition, or relationship that results from a contract by which one man and one woman, who have the capacity to enter into such an agreement, mutually promise to live together in the relationship of husband and wife in law for life, or until the legal termination of the relationship.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   the joining of a male and female in matrimony by a person qualified by law to perform the ceremony (a minister, priest, judge, justice of the peace or some similar official), after having obtained a valid marriage license (which requires a blood test for venereal disease in about a third of the states and a waiting period from one to five days in several). The standard age for marriage without parental consent is 18 except for Georgia and Wyoming where it is 16, Rhode Island where women can marry at 16, and Mississippi in which it is 17 for boys and 15 for girls. More than half the states allow marriages at lesser ages with parental consent, going as low as 14 for both sexes in Alabama, Texas and Utah. Marriages in which the age requirements are not met can be annulled. Fourteen states recognize so-called "common law marriages" which establish a legal marriage for people who have lived together by agreement as husband and wife for a lengthy period of time without legal formalities.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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