Family Law Insights

Who Can Legally Marry You?

Posted on: April 30th, 2015

Atlanta Law Firm This week, the US Supreme Court heard arguments for marriage equality and our Atlanta law firm is following this issue closely. Kitchens New Cleghorn provides legal services to many same-sex couples, and we fully support the dignity of their relationships. Although a large part of our business is helping some people end their marriages in the easiest way possible, we celebrate marriage and respect it for the special institution that it is. That’s why when one of our friends had pics on social media showing her officiating a wedding in Florida, we got curious about who can be a wedding officiant here in Georgia.

Kitchens New Cleghorn law clerk Burton Peebles researched this issue for us (what the law specifically says about who can act as a marriage officiant in Georgia). Here is what he told us:

“A marriage license may be authorized in Georgia by any Governor; former Governor of Georgia; any judge, including judges of state and federal courts of record in Georgia; city recorders, including recorders outside of their municipality; magistrate judges; ministers; or other persons of any religious society or sect authorized by the rules of such society to perform the marriage ceremony. This provision is interpreted broadly. However, if not a judge, justice of the peace, Governor or former Governor, city recorder, or magistrate, an officiant must have the authority under the rules of any religious society to solemnize a marriage (i.e. a deacon, elder, or ordained minister).”

Our rules are very liberal in comparison with some other states, such as neighboring North Carolina, where some “officiant” certifications obtained online do not satisfy their legal requirements to perform marriages. To ensure your marriage will be legal, be sure that your officiant is legally certified to perform the marriage ceremony.


Thank you Kitchens New Cleghorn for helping me to gain custody of my two boys from my ex-wife. You helped me give my kids a fair shot at a normal childhood.
FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS John DiNatale, Divorce Lawyer in Atlanta
John Dinatale Atlanta Lawyer John DiNatale joined Kitchens New Cleghorn, LLC as Of Counsel in January 2018. His practice focuses on family law with expertise in Fulton County divorce, child support, child custody, modifications, contem…
Change Sex or Name on Driver’s License in Georgia LGBT Sex Change Lawyer If you’re interested in having your Georgia driver’s license or state ID changed to better reflect how you identify, the state allows you to modify both your name (Official Georgia…
Legally Changing Your ‘Sex’ on a Georgia Birth Certificate Despite its (rightly earned) conservative reputation, Georgia has a surprisingly liberal policy for changing sex designation on birth certificates and other vital records. According to section § 31-10-23(e) of the…
Kitchens New Cleghorn, LLC Review :

Thank you Jon and all of KNC for standing by me during these unpleasant times. Your knowledge, experience and advice was exactly what I needed. I will not hesitate to call on you again.
Atlanta Divorce Attorney

Reviewed on
Rating :
Shannon H
Kitchens New Cleghorn, LLC Review :

Whether your legal matters are simple or complex, Jeff Cleghorn and Randy New can work for you, quickly, efficiently and thoroughly. They and their colleagues are experienced, knowledgeable individuals of high moral standards. That’s what we need when we look for legal help.

Reviewed on
Rating :
Kitchens New Cleghorn, LLC Review :

With a team of law professionals that is almost unsurpassed, Kitchens New Cleghorn is your top choice. Joyce Kitchens, Randy New and Jeff Cleghorn fight for their clients.

Reviewed on
Rating :
GA Voice