For 12/12/12 Weddings, 12 Facts About Marriage - Law and Daily Life
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For 12/12/12 Weddings, 12 Facts About Marriage

It turns out that 12/12/12 is a very popular day for a wedding. And why not? A date like today's won't come around for almost another hundred years.

In a nuptial phenomenon noted every year since 2001, the number of weddings jumps whenever the day, month, and year are the same -- an apparently auspicious (not to mention easy-to-remember) date combination for couples to tie the knot.

It's going to be a busy Wednesday for weddings, notes CNN. If you're one of those couples getting married, congratulations on this big step in your life.

Even if you're not saying "I do" on 12/12/12, let's commemorate this dodeca-ccasion with 12 facts about marriage and weddings that you might not have considered:

  1. It's a contract. A marriage is a legal contract. We're not sure if this makes it more mundane or makes real estate deals more romantic.

  2. Marriage has legal requirements. To be legally valid, the marriage contract or license must be signed by both parties and by witnesses. There are of course many other legal requirements that vary by state.

  3. Get a license. Before you sign the paperwork, you have to get a marriage license from your state. It's easy to do unless you're already married.

  4. There might be a waiting period. Depending on what state you live in, there may be a one- to five-day waiting period between getting the license and being able to marry.

  5. No more blood tests. You used to need a blood test before marriage in some states, but that's not the case anymore.

  6. Prenups aren't uncommon. It may sound unromantic but almost a third of Americans would ask their spouse to sign a prenup, according to USA Today. There are lots of reasons to do it, even if you love and trust your partner.

  7. Sharing property. Once you sign the paperwork, anything else you and your spouse get from then on belongs to both of you. Yes, that includes the wedding gifts.

  8. Two kinds of marriage. The United States recognizes two kinds of marriage: All states allow citizens to get a license to marry and sign a certificate. But some states also recognize common law marriage for couples who've lived together long enough.

  9. Two sets of divorce law. Upon divorce, some states use the law of community property to divide assets while others use a system of equitable distribution.

  10. Marriage counts everywhere. Thanks to the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution, marriages performed in any state are recognized in every state. Under the federal Defense of Marriage Act, however, that doesn't apply to same-sex couples.

  11. Not everyone can officiate. In general only judges, religious leaders, and some government official can perform a marriage. Internet "priests" may be OK but you'll want to check their credentials, and your state's laws.

  12. It changes your tax status. The first time you file taxes after you're married, you have to check the box for "married filing jointly" or "married filing separately." What you choose is up to you, but you may want to ask an attorney first.

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