An Overview of Secret Marriage

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Definition: A secret marriage is a marriage that is kept secret from family and friends. A secret marriage is usually a civil marriage, but there are also members of the clergy who will perform a secret marriage.

There are locales that allow a marriage ceremony to be held in a closed court session and the file is sealed. Only the judge has a record of the marriage.

In California, couples who have lived together can obtain a confidential marriage license that will not appear in the public records.

Also Known As: Judicial secret marriage

Examples: If you've been married secretly and want a formal ceremony after your secret marriage to one another, it is not necessary to obtain a second marriage license.