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Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court - Louis J. Perret
Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court - Louis J. Perret

Marriage Licenses are issued from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday except for legal holidays, at the Lafayette Parish Courthouse located at 800 South Buchanan Street, Lafayette, La 70501.

Your marriage license is one of the most important documents you will purchase during your lifetime. It establishes the legal validity of your marriage.

The license must be purchased at least 72 hours prior to the ceremony. It expires 30 days from the date of issuance. The license is only valid for ceremonies performed in the State of Louisiana.

Pursuant to applicable Louisiana Statutes, only one party is required to come in to purchase the marriage license. The applying party must provide items 1 through 4 for BOTH PARTIES.

1. Proof of Birth (one of the following must be presented):

  • Certified Birth Certificate
  • Certified Birth Card
  • Certified Birth Registration
  • Certified Certificate of Birth Abroad
  • Certified Certificate of Naturalization
  • Letter of No Record of Birth from Vital Records
  • Waiver from a Judge or Justice of the Peace

Louisiana birth records are available in our office. See link to the right for more information.

In addition, a photocopy of the birth record must be retained by the Clerk of Court. You may provide the photocopy, if one is not provided the copy fee is $1.00 per page.

2. Social Security Numbers

Social Security numbers must be provided or a statement by the applicable party that no social security number has been issued to him as required by R.S. 9:224. The statement of no social security number form is available in our office or online by clicking HERE.

3. Prior Marriages/Documentation

If you were previously married, you will have to provide the date of your most recent spouses' death or the date the final divorce judgment was signed. It is recommended that you bring a copy of these documents to guarantee accuracy.

4. Fees (CASH ONLY)

The marriage license fee is $27.50 plus $4.00 per page for each attachment, which includes waivers, statements of no social security number and parental consent forms payable in cash only.

A certified copy of the marriage license is $10.00. If the fee is paid when the marriage license is purchased, you will receive the certified copy by mail once the legal document has been recorded.

Age Requirements

To purchase a marriage license, you must be of the age of majority, which is 18 years old. If you are 16 or 17 years of age, both parents must be present with identification and must sign a consent form. If under the age of 16, in addition to the parental signature requirements, a Court Order is needed.

Relationship

State law (CC Art. 90) prohibits the marriage of persons who are related by blood or adoption with the fourth degree collateral.

Blood tests are no longer required.

For any other questions, please call the Marriage Department at 337-291-6335.



Covenant Marriage Act
Contracting a Covenant Marriage


The couple who chooses to enter into a Covenant Marriage agrees to be bound by two serious limitations on obtaining a divorce or separation. These limitations do not apply to other couples married in Louisiana:


  • The couple legally agrees to seek marital counseling if problems develop during the marriage; and

  • The couple can only seek a divorce or legal separation for limited reasons, as explained herein.



DECLARATION OF INTENT


In order to enter into a Covenant Marriage, the couple must sign a recitation that provides:


  • A marriage is an agreement to live together as husband and wife forever;

  • The parties have chosen each other carefully and disclosed to each other "everything which could adversely affect" the decision to marry;

  • The parties have received premarital counseling;

  • A commitment that if the parties experience marital difficulties they commit to take all reasonable efforts to preserve their marriage, including marital counseling; and

  • The couple must also obtain premarital counseling from a priest, minister, rabbi or similar clergyman of any religious sect, or a  professional marriage counselor.

After discussing the meaning of a Covenant Marriage with the counselor, the couple must also sign, together with an attestation by the counselor, a notarized affidavit to the effect that the counselor has discussed with them:


  • The seriousness of a Covenant Marriage;

  • That the commitment to the marriage is for life;

  • The obligation of the couple to seek marital counseling if problems arise in their marriage; and

  • That they have received the informational pamphlet published by the Attorney General entitled "Covenant Marriage Act."

The two documents which comprise the Declaration of Intent - the recitation and the affidavit with attestation - must be presented to the official who issues the marriage license with the couple's application for a marriage license.


The Declaration of Intent can be downloaded by clicking HERE.




LEGAL SEPARATION IN A COVENANT MARRIAGE


In order to obtain a legal separation (which is not a divorce and therefore does not end the marriage), a spouse to a Covenant Marriage must first obtain counseling and then must prove:


  • Adultery by the other spouse;

  • Commission of a felony by the other spouse and a sentence of imprisonment at hard labor or death;

  • Abandonment by the other spouse for one year;

  • Physical or sexual abuse of the spouse or of a child of either spouse;

  • The spouses have lived separate and apart for two years; or

  • Habitual intemperance (for example, alcohol or drug abuse), cruel treatment, or severe ill treatment by the other spouse.



DIVORCE IN A COVENANT MARRIAGE


A marriage that is not a Covenant Marriage may be ended by divorce more easily than that of a Covenant Marriage . In a marriage that is not a Covenant Marriage, a spouse may get a divorce for adultery by the other spouse, conviction of a felony by the other spouse and his imprisonment at hard labor or death, or by proof that the spouses have lived separate and apart for six months before or after filing for divorce. In a Covenant Marriage a spouse may get a divorce only after receiving counseling and may only get a divorce for the following reason:


  • Adultery by the other spouse;

  • Commission of a felony by the other spouse and sentence of imprisonment at hard labor or death;

  • Abandonment by the other spouse for one year;

  • Physical or sexual abuse of the spouse or of a child of either spouse;

  • The spouses have lived separate and apart for two years; or the spouses are judicially or legally separated and have lived separate and apart since the legal separation for;
    (a) one year and six months if there is a minor child or children of the marriage;
    (b) one year if the separation was granted for abuse of a child of either spouse;
    (c) one year in all other cases.



A NOTE TO PRESENTLY MARRIED COUPLES


Couples who are already married may execute a declaration of intent to designate their marriage a Covenant Marriage. They must sign a recitation and affidavit similar to those described in the aforementioned pamphlet, after receiving counseling. The counselor must attest to the counseling. This intent to designate their marriage a Covenant Marriage must be filed with the official who issued their marriage license and with whom the marriage certificate of the couple is filed. If the couple was married outside of Louisiana, a copy of their marriage certificate, with the declaration of intent, shall be filed with the officer who issues marriage licenses in the parish of the couples domicile.