I was thinking about how a living will can be found after the fact to declare someones intent to do with the money.

Can something similar exist for weddings?

Like if there is video of someone getting married could they in fact be married under religious law but not legal law?

I'm asking this partly because in Hinduism marriage is defined by someone just agreeing to love each other. You don't have to even have binding paper work. I found it awkward and weird that the government is defining marriage based its on its belief about the correct religion. Religions and the governments definition of marriage should be separated entirely.

  • In England and Wales, prior to 1753, it was possible (though increasingly difficult) to get married without any paperwork. There had been a time when entirely informal marriages were possible, but since divorce was impossible and marriage was monogamous, that created its own problems. From 1753 to date, informal marriages have been impossible. Commented Apr 23 at 10:44

1 Answer 1


Paperwork can be dispensed with in some (actually, most) jurisdictions, and the marriage will have the effect of a government-registered / licensed marriage. In the US, for example, religion does not enter into governmental interest in marriage. Common-law marriages are recognized in some states (but are valid if you move to another state). Whereas as I understand Norwegian law, you can't simply call yourselves "married" and gain the privileges of being either married or a registered couple.

So the answer largely depends on the jurisdiction, that is, whether informal arrangements are taken to be equivalent to government-sanctioned ones. While I said that paperwork is optional in most jurisdictions, in North America and Europe, it is generally not optional.

  • Common law marriages should be universal allowed if it it is to work like Hinduism but that is just my opinion. Oh well.
    – William
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 21:51
  • I will ask this a separate question if you don't respond but does that mean I can create a common law marriage by visiting one of the accepting states over a weekend and move back?
    – William
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 22:27
  • 1
    You have to act as and hold yourself out to be man and wife for a period (being in a jurisdiction that recognises CL marriage). You might try Colorado, perhaps read here: coag.gov/resources/frequently-asked-questions/….
    – user6726
    Commented Jan 25, 2018 at 23:39

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