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Top 5 Legal Tips Before Eloping

You want to get married on the fly, possibly in secret. But that doesn't mean you can't put some planning into your elopement. And if you want your secret marriage to last, in the legal sense at least, you'll want to be prepared.

Here is our best legal advice for eloping couples, from our archives:

1. Is It Legal to Elope?

Step one is to make sure your marriage plan is legal. As long as you're of legal age in the state where you plan to elope, you should be OK. And while you may be hiding your marriage from some people, you will need to notify the state and obtain and file the necessary paperwork.

2. 5 Questions to Ask Before Marriage

There's a certain romance to elopement, but that doesn't mean the decision to get married can't be well thought out. Sorting out financial and legal questions ahead of time can even reduce any anxiety heading into the union.

3. 5 Things to Do Before You Get Married

Even if you don't have a lot of time before you elope, you'll need to get the marriage license sorted out first at least. And you may even consider a prenup.

4. Legal How-To: Applying for a Marriage License

Different states may have different requirements or protocols for marriage licenses, in terms of identifying documents, qualifying declarations, and notice requirements. Make sure you're familiar with state laws where you're eloping to, otherwise your marriage may be moot.

5. Longest-Married Couple Reveal Relationship Secrets

And, just for fun, we thought we'd include some non-legal advice, from John and Ann Betar, who celebrated their 84th wedding anniversary this year. Most people don't live to be 84, let alone spend all that time with the same spouse, so we've got a lot to learn from them.

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