Marriage - Kansas Family Law Code
23-2501. Nature of marriage relation.
The marriage contract is to be considered in law as a civil contract between two parties who are of opposite sex. All other marriages are declared to be contrary to the public policy of this state and are void. The consent of the parties is essential. The marriage ceremony may be regarded either as a civil ceremony or as a religious sacrament, but the marriage relation shall only be entered into, maintained or abrogated as provided by law.
23-2502. Common-law marriage.
The state of Kansas shall not recognize a common-law marriage contract if either party to the marriage contract is under 18 years of age.
23-2503. Incestuous marriages void.
All marriages between parents and children, including grandparents and grandchildren of any degree, between brothers and sisters of the one half as well as the whole blood, and between uncles and nieces, aunts and nephews, and first cousins, are declared to be incestuous and absolutely void.
23-2504. Solemnizing marriage; persons authorized to officiate.
(a) Marriage may be validly solemnized and contracted in this state, after a license has been issued for the marriage, in the following manner: By the mutual declarations of the two parties to be joined in marriage, made before an authorized officiating person and in the presence of at least two competent witnesses over 18 years of age, other than the officiating person, that they take each other as husband and wife.
(b) The following are authorized to be officiating persons:
(1) Any currently ordained clergyman or religious authority of any religious denomination or society;
(2) any licentiate of a denominational body or an appointee of any bishop serving as the regular clergyman of any church of the denomination to which the licentiate or appointee belongs, if not restrained from so doing by the discipline of that church or denomination;
(3) any judge or justice of a court of record;
(4) any municipal judge of a city of this state; and
(5) any retired judge or justice of a court of record.
(c) The two parties themselves, by mutual declarations that they take each other as husband and wife, in accordance with the customs, rules and regulations of any religious society, denomination or sect to which either of the parties belong, may be married without an authorized officiating person.
23-2505. Issuance of marriage license; form; waiting period; emergency; lawful age; consent, when; unlawful acts, penalty; duties of person issuing license; expiration of license.
(a) The clerks of the district courts or judges thereof, when applied to for a marriage license by any person who is one of the parties to the proposed marriage and who is legally entitled to a marriage license, shall issue a marriage license in substance as follows:
(Name of place where office located, month, day and year.)
TO ANY PERSON authorized by law to perform the marriage ceremony,
You are hereby authorized to join in marriage A B of ____________, date of birth _______, and C D of ____________, date of birth _______, (and name of parent or guardian consenting), and of this license, duly endorsed, you will make due return to this office immediately after performing the ceremony.
E F, (title of person issuing the license).
(b) No clerk or judge of the district court shall issue a marriage license before the third calendar day (Sunday, holidays, and days on which the office of the clerk of the court is not accessible included) following the date of the filing of the application therefor in such clerk's or judge's office except that in cases of emergency or extraordinary circumstances, a judge of the district court may upon proper showing being made, permit by order of the court the issuance of such marriage license without waiting three days. Each district court shall keep a record of all marriages resulting from licenses issued by the court, which record shall show the names of the persons who were married and the date of the marriage.
(c) No clerk or judge shall issue a license authorizing the marriage of any person:
(1) Under the age of 16 years, except that a judge of the district court may, after due investigation, give consent and issue the license authorizing the marriage of a person 15 years of age when the marriage is in the best interest of the person 15 years of age; or
(2) who is 16 or 17 years of age without the express consent of such person's father, mother or legal guardian and the consent of the judge unless consent of both the mother and father and any legal guardian or all then living parents and any legal guardian is given in which case the consent of the judge shall not be required. If not given in person at the time of the application, the consent shall be evidenced by a written certificate subscribed thereto and duly attested. Where the applicants or either of them are 16 or 17 years of age and their parents are dead and there is no legal guardian then a judge of the district court may after due investigation give consent and issue the license authorizing the marriage.
(d) The judge or clerk may issue a license upon the affidavit of the party personally appearing and applying therefor, to the effect that the parties to whom such license is to be issued are of lawful age, as required by this section, and the judge or clerk is hereby authorized to administer oaths for that purpose.
(e) Every person swearing falsely in such affidavit shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $500. A clerk or judge of the district court shall state in every license the birth dates of the parties applying for the same, and if either or both are 16 or 17 years of age, the name of the father, mother, or guardian consenting to such marriage.
(f) Every marriage license shall expire at the end of six months from the date of issuance if the marriage for which the license was issued does not take place within the six-month period of time.
23-2506. Designation of new legal name, procedure; certified copy of marriage license and certificate of marriage proof of identity.
(a) At the time of marriage, a person may designate a new legal name, by which such person shall subsequently be known. Such name may include a combination of the person's prior existing name and the prior existing name of such person's spouse, or derivative versions thereof.
(b) A person's name, as designated pursuant to subsection (a), shall be recorded on the marriage license issued to such person, along with such person's name at the time of the person's application for such license, which shall be described thereon as the person's former name.
(c) The change to the person's new legal name shall be effective upon the endorsement of the person's marriage license with the certificate of marriage of the person who performed the marriage ceremony pursuant to K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 23-2511, and amendments thereto.
(d) A certified copy of a person's marriage license endorsed with a certificate of marriage pursuant to K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 23-2511, and amendments thereto, shall constitute proof of identity for the purposes of issuance of any Kansas driver's license or nondriver's identification card.
All marriages occurring within the state shall be registered under the supervision of the secretary of health and environment as provided in K.S.A. 65-102.
23-2508. Validity of marriages contracted without state.
All marriages contracted without this state, which would be valid by the laws of the country in which the same were contracted, shall be valid in all courts and places in this state. It is the strong public policy of this state only to recognize as valid marriages from other states that are between a man and a woman.
23-2509. Forms for licenses, issuance; photocopy to applicant; computer generated licenses.
Forms for license shall be furnished by the secretary of health and environment and shall be photocopied and issued with the photocopy to the applicant therefor for delivery to the person who performs the marriage ceremony after the judge or clerk or the district court has recorded the required personal information as provided by K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 23-2505, and amendments thereto, for the original marriage license being issued. Such photocopy shall clearly be marked as "DUPLICATE." The secretary may approve the use of an automated system whereby the marriage license form is computer generated. In such instances, the court shall comply with prescribed specifications as set out by the secretary to ensure uniformity across the state.
23-2510. License fee; authorized only by legislative enactment; disposition.
(a) The judge or clerk of the district court shall collect from the applicant for a marriage license a fee of $59.
(b) The clerk of the court shall remit all fees prescribed by this section to the state treasurer in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 75-4215, and amendments thereto. Upon receipt of each such remittance, the state treasurer shall deposit the entire amount in the state treasury. Of each remittance, the state treasurer shall credit 38.98% to the protection from abuse fund, 15.19% to the family and children trust account of the family and children investment fund created by K.S.A. 38-1808, and amendments thereto, 16.95% to the crime victims assistance fund created by K.S.A. 74-7334, and amendments thereto, 15.25% to the judicial branch nonjudicial salary adjustment fund created by K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 20-1a15, and amendments thereto, and the remainder to the state general fund.
(c) Except as provided further, the marriage license fee established in this section shall be the only fee collected or moneys in the nature of a fee collected for a marriage license. Such fee shall only be established by an act of the legislature and no other authority is established by law or otherwise to collect a fee. On and after July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2017, the supreme court may impose an additional charge, not to exceed $26.50 per marriage license fee, to fund the costs of non-judicial personnel.
23-2511. Marriage certificate; recording marriages.
(a) Every person who performs a marriage ceremony under the provisions of this act shall endorse the person's certificate of the marriage on the license, give the duplicate copy of the license to the parties to the marriage and return the license, within 10 days after the marriage, to the judge or clerk of the district court who issued it. The judge or clerk shall record the marriage on the marriage record in the office of the judge or clerk and shall forward, not later than the third day of the following month, to the secretary of health and environment the license and certificate of marriage, together with a statement of the names of the parties and the name and address of the person who performed the marriage ceremony.
(b) If no marriage license has been issued by the judge or clerk of the district court during a month, the judge or clerk shall promptly notify the secretary of health and environment to that effect on a form provided for that purpose.
23-2512. Records of marriages; indexing; certified copies or abstracts.
The secretary of health and environment shall index all records received pursuant to K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 23-2511, and amendments thereto, and, upon request, shall issue a certified copy or abstract of them which in all courts and for all purposes shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated in them. For each certified copy or abstract a fee shall be paid to the secretary in an amount prescribed in accordance with, and disposed of in the manner provided by, K.S.A. 65-2418, and amendments thereto.
23-2513. Penalty for not complying with statutory requirements.
Any judge or clerk of the district court or person authorized by law to perform the marriage ceremony in this state who shall fail to comply with any of the provisions of this act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars, and the county or district attorney of any county when presented with a statement of facts and circumstances shall forthwith initiate and promptly follow up the necessary court proceedings against the parties responsible for the alleged violation of the law.
23-2514. Copy of licenses returned kept by court personnel.
The judge or clerk of the district court shall keep a correct copy of all marriage licenses returned with the endorsement on the license by the person performing the marriage ceremony.
23-2515. Proof of relationship of parties; penalty for granting license to parties not entitled without examination.
In all cases, before granting a marriage license the judge or clerk of the district court shall require the applicant for such license to take and subscribe to an oath to the effect that none of the reasons set forth in K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 23-2503 exist why such applicant should not be granted a marriage license; and the judge or clerk may in his or her discretion examine witnesses under oath concerning the matters referred to in K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 23-2503, as applied to the applicant for such marriage license, and for the purpose of this act shall have power to administer oaths. If the judge or clerk fails to examine such applicant for license as provided in this section, he or she shall be liable to fine for granting license to parties not legally entitled thereto, in any sum not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), to be recovered by indictment or information, with cost.
23-2516. Validation of certain marriages; performance of marriage by Baha'is assembly.
(a) All marriages solemnized among the society called Friends, or Quakers, in the form previously practiced and in use in their meetings shall be good and valid and shall not be construed as affected by any of the foregoing provisions of this act. All marriages previously solemnized in this state by that society, in accordance with its forms and usage, are hereby declared legal and valid.
(b) A local spiritual assembly of the Baha'is or representative members of that assembly, according to the usage of their religious community, as defined in the declaration of trust and bylaws of the national spiritual assembly of the Baha'is of the United States and bylaws of a local spiritual assembly may perform and witness the marriage ceremony in this state and certify on the back of the license the facts of the marriage and its date.
(c) Any marriage ceremony performed prior to the effective date of this act and certified by any person who had been issued a certificate of election as justice of the peace and the resulting marriage are hereby declared legal and valid.
23-2517. Solemnizing marriage; persons not authorized; penalty.
It shall be unlawful for any person not a duly authorized officiating person as provided by K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 23-2504 to perform the marriage ceremony in this state. Any person violating the provisions of this act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100) or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than six (6) months or by both such fine and imprisonment.
23-2518. Records or copies as evidence.
The books of record of marriage licenses issued, to be kept by the judges of the district court of the several counties, and copies of entries therein, certified by such judge under his or her official seal, shall be evidence in all courts.