For a marriage to be valid in Nevada, the law requires that both parties must appear in person before a Clerk at a Clark County marriage bureau location. The applicants standing before the Clerk must be two people and be of at least 18 years of age. Further, the applicants must be no closer in relation than second cousins and not have a current husband or wife that are living.
A person 17 years old may marry only if the person has the consent of either parent or legal guardian and after the court holds an evidentiary hearing that finds marriage is in the minor’s best interests. The court will consider:
- The difference in age between the parties to the prospective marriage;
- The need for the marriage to occur before the minor reaches 18 years of age; and
- The emotional and intellectual maturity of the minor
Pregnancy alone does not establish that the best interests of such person will be served by marriage, nor may pregnancy be required by a court as a condition necessary for its authorization for the marriage of such person.
Nevada’s marriage and divorce rates exceeded the national average in 2009 and tend to be married for fewer years than the national average. Part of the reason may be tied to the fact that, as mentioned, Nevada is lax on requirements for marriage and so less thought goes into the meaning and commitment that stands behind the easy to obtain a license.
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