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What Rights Come with Legal Marriage?
— Washington —
© 2003, Demian

This is a partial list of the legal marriage laws in the State of Washington. These 200 rights and responsibilities — out of at least 360 laws that are triggered by legal marriage — show the variety of societal and business interactions built into legal marriage. This list provides a glimpse of what is at stake by the denial of access to legal marriage.

While all states generally cover similar legal areas, there are state-by-state differences. Besides the state laws, the U.S. Federal system also has more than 1,138 laws which are triggered by legal marriage. [See U.S. Federal Laws for the Legally Married.]

Almost all states offer some form of the following marital rights:

  • to not be forced to testify in court against each other;
  • ability to make medical decisions on each other’s behalf;
  • to seek wrongful death compensation;
  • access to a decedent’s estate in the absence of a will;
  • to maintain life and disability insurance on a spouse;
  • eligibility for worker’s compensation death benefits; and
  • to automatically hold property as tenants in common.

This Washington State Domestic Relations Law list is copied from the Revised Code of Washington located at the state’s official Internet site. You may search for relevant laws from this site:

26.04       Marriage.
26.09       Dissolution of marriage -- Legal separation.
26.10       Nonparental actions for child custody.
26.12       Family court.
26.16       Husband and wife--Rights and liabilities--Community property.
26.18       Child support enforcement.
26.19       Child support schedule.
26.20       Family abandonment or nonsupport.
26.21       Uniform interstate family support act.
26.23       State support registry.
26.26       Uniform parentage act.
26.27       Uniform child custody jurisdiction act.
26.28       Age of majority.
26.30       Uniform minor student capacity to borrow act.
26.33       Adoption.
26.34       Interstate compact on placement of children.
26.40       Handicapped children.
26.44       Abuse of children and adult dependent persons.
26.50       Domestic violence prevention.

Action against parent for willful injury to property by minor child:
   RCW 4.24.190.
Action by parent for sale or transfer of controlled substance to
   minor: RCW 69.50.414.
Child welfare services: Chapter 74.13 RCW.
Children, expectant mothers and adult developmentally disabled, care and
   placement agencies: Chapter 74.15 RCW.
Children's center for research and training in mental retardation:
   RCW 28B.20.410 through 28B.20.414.
Community property, descent and distribution, devise:
   RCW 11.02.070, 11.04.015.
Contempts: Chapter 7.21 RCW.
Council for the prevention of child abuse and neglect: Chapter 43.121 RCW.
Displaced homemaker act: Chapter 28B.04 RCW.
Enforcement of judgments: Title 6 RCW.
Evidence -- Who are disqualified -- Privileged communications: RCW 5.60.060.
Homesteads: Chapter 6.13 RCW.
Joint tenancies: Chapter 64.28 RCW.
Jurisdiction over Indians as to domestic relations and adoption:
   Chapter 37.12 RCW.
Personal exemptions: Chapter 6.15 RCW.
Probate and trust law: Title 11 RCW.
Sex crimes: Chapter 9A.44 RCW.
Sexually transmitted disease treatment and care for minors, consent,
   liability: RCW 70.24.110.
Shoplifting by minors, liability of parents, guardians: RCW 4.24.230.
Solicitation of minor for immoral purposes: RCW 71.06.010.
Special proceedings and actions: Title 7 RCW; rights of action:
   Chapter 4.24 RCW.
Survival of actions: Chapter 4.20 RCW.
Transfers to minors act: Chapter 11.114 RCW.
Trial -- Implied bias defined: RCW 4.44.180.
Wages due on death of employee -- Payment to survivor under community property
   agreement: RCW 49.48.120.
Youth development and conservation corps: Chapter 43.51 RCW.



26.04.010   Who may contract -- Certain marriages void, exception.
26.04.020   Prohibited marriages -- Spouse living -- Consanguinity.
26.04.050   Who may solemnize.
26.04.060   Marriage before unauthorized cleric -- Effect.
26.04.070   Form of solemnization.
26.04.080   Marriage certificate -- Contents.
26.04.090   Certificate for files of county auditor and state registrar of
            vital statistics -- Forms.
26.04.100   Filing and recording -- County auditor.
26.04.105   Preservation of copies of applications and
   licenses -- County auditor.
26.04.110   Penalty for failure to deliver certificates.
26.04.120   Marriage according to religious ritual.
26.04.130   Voidable marriages.
26.04.140   Marriage license.
26.04.150   Application for license -- May be secured by mail -- Execution
            and acknowledgment.
26.04.160   Application for license -- Contents -- Oath.
26.04.165   Additional marriage certificate form.
26.04.170   Inspection of applications.
26.04.175   When disclosure of marriage applications and records prohibited.
26.04.180   License -- Time limitations as to issuance and use -- Notification.
26.04.190   Refusal of license -- Appeal.
26.04.200   Penalty for violations -- 1939 c 204.
26.04.210   Affidavits required for issuance of license.
26.04.220   Retention of license by person solemnizing -- Auditor's record.
26.04.230   Penalty for violation of marriage requirements.
26.04.240   Penalty for unlawful solemnization -- Code 1881.
26.04.250   Penalty for unlawful solemnization -- 1909 c 249.

Certificates for out-of-state marriage license requirements: RCW 70.58.380.
Interschool athletic and other extracurricular activities for students,
   discrimination because of marital status prohibited: RCW 28A.600.200.
Statute of frauds -- Contracts, etc., void unless in writing: RCW 19.36.010.
Veterans and veterans' affairs -- Free marriage and divorce
   certificates: RCW 73.04.120.



26.09.002   Policy.
26.09.004   Definitions.
26.09.006   Mandatory use of approved forms.
26.09.010   Civil practice to govern -- Designation of proceedings -- Decrees.
26.09.015   Mediation -- Confidentiality -- Report to court.
26.09.020   Petition in proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal
            separation, or for a declaration concerning validity of marriage
            -- Contents -- Parties -- Certificate.
26.09.030   Petition for dissolution of marriage -- Court proceedings, findings
            -- Transfer to family court --
             Legal separation in lieu of dissolution.
26.09.040   Petition to have marriage declared invalid or judicial
            determination of validity -- Procedure -- Findings -- Grounds
            -- Legitimacy of children.
26.09.050   Decrees -- Contents -- Restraining orders -- Enforcement.
26.09.060   Temporary maintenance or child support -- Temporary restraining
            order -- Preliminary injunction -- Domestic violence or
            antiharassment protection order -- Support debts, notice.
26.09.070   Separation contracts.
26.09.080   Disposition of property and liabilities -- Factors.
26.09.090   Maintenance orders for either spouse -- Factors.
26.09.100   Child support -- Apportionment of expense -- Periodic adjustments
            or modifications.
26.09.105   Child support -- Health insurance coverage -- Conditions.
26.09.110   Minor or dependent child -- Court appointed attorney.

None of these regulations governing marriage rights and responsibilities are available to same-sex partners.
Governments that offer Full Legal Marriage

    Netherlands (2001)
    Belgium (2003)
    Canada (2005)
    Spain (2005)
    South Africa (2005)
    Norway (2009)
    Sweden (2009)
    Iceland (2010)
    Argentina (2010)
    Portugal (2010)
    Denmark (2012)
    France (2013)
    New Zealand (2013)
    Brazil (2013)
    Uruguay (2013)
    New Zealand (2013)
    United Kingdom
      (England, Wales, Scotland) (2013)
    Luxembourg (2014)
    Finland (2014)
    Ireland (2015)
    United States (2015)
    Colombia (2016)
    Germany (2017)
    Taiwan (2017)
    Malta (2017)
US States & Territories

    Massachusetts (2004)
    California (2008)
    Connecticut (2008)
    Iowa (2009)
    Vermont (2009)
    New Hampshire (2009)
    District of Columbia (2009)
    New York (2011)
    Maine (2012)
    Washington (2012)
    Maryland (2013)
    Rhode Island (2013)
    Delaware (2013)
    Minnesota (2013)
    Illinois (2013)
    Utah (2013)
    New Jersey (2013)
    Hawaii (2013)
    New Mexico (2013)
    Michigan (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
    Oregon (2014)
    Wisconsin (2014)

    Arkansas (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
    Pennsylvania (2014)
    Indiana (2014)
    Nevada (2014)
    Virginia (2014)
    Oklahoma (2014)
    Idaho (2014)
    West Virginia (2014)
    Alaska (2014)
    Arizona (2014)
    Wyoming (2014)
    Kansas (2014) - stayed pending legal challenge
    Florida (2014)
    Colorado (2014)
    North Carolina (2014)
    South Carolina (2014)
    Montana (2014)
    Alabama (2015)
    U.S. Supreme Court (June 26, 2015):
      Ruling: All U.S. States must now
      allow same-sex couples the
      freedom of legal marriage.
Native American Tribes

    Coquille Tribe, Oregon (2009)
    Mashantucket Pequot, Connecticut (2011)
    Suquamish Tribe, Washington (2011)
    Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Washington (2013)
    Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Minnesota (2013)
    Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Michigan (2013)
    Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Michigan (2013)
    Santa Ysabel Tribe, California (2013)
    Confederated Tribes of the Colville Nation, Washington (2013)
    Cheyenne, Oklahoma (2013)
    Arapaho, Oklahoma (2013)
    Leech Lake Tribal Court, Minnesota (2013)
    Puyallup Tribe, Washington (2914)
    Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming (2014)
    Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Michigan, (2014)
    Colville Confederated Tribes, Washington (2014)
    Central Council of Tlingit, Alaska (2015)
    Haida Indian Tribes, Alaska (2015)

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