Marriage License Requires Personal Appearance
“There is now no excuse when the question comes up for marriage. You can do it by Zoom. Yes or no.”
With these words, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he would issue an executive order waiving the requirement for would-be spouses to appear personally to get a marriage license, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. And, rather appropriately, Cuomo announced this via Twitter.
However, in view of Coronavirus, media reports that Gov. Cuomo has suspended the in-person requirement, and is allowing couples to both get the license via video teleconferencing, as well as actually conducting the ceremony that way.
Note that couples wishing to obtain a divorce in New York are not so lucky – instead of Covid causing the courts to relax dissolution of marriage cases and conducting hearings by video conference, New York simply suspended new divorce case altogether for 2 months, only ending this divorce moratorium in May.
Colorado Marriage by Email During Pandemic
Readers of the Colorado Family Law Guide will recognize that Colorado has similar requirements – per , both parties must sign the license, although only one is required to appear in person at the county clerk. For more information about Colorado’s requirements for marriage, see the Entering Into Marriage article in the Colorado Family Law Guide.
And while New York’s announcement has received more fanfare, Colorado has actually gone one step further. The El Paso County Clerk & Recorder is temporarily allowing couples to apply for and obtain the marriage license via email!
Divorce By Zoom?
Colorado courts are temporarily closed to routine business. But this does NOT mean cases have come to a screeching halt. On the contrary, as we recently addressed in a blog post, most domestic relations hearings, including divorces, are being done via telephone or video teleconference.
Fair’s fair – if a couple can end their marriage via Zoom, it’s only appropriate that they can enter into marriage the same way.