Marriage is a big event in one's life. Sadly enough, many end in divorce and this ends up on the public records in the county court houses of all states across the union.
People use the records for a couple of reasons:
1. Research, genealogy or other family reasons;
2. personal reasons; somebody may be researching a person they are interested in to verify they are for real and telling the truth.
Depending on what kind of information is sought by a an individual of the public, marriage records can provide complete unlimited access and limited access.
Many times states will grant access to an individual free online or even for a small fee to cover any administrative costs associated with the marriage records.
Many times free access to marriage records grants the individual only the bare minimum data such as age, name, date of birth, place of residence and who his or her spouse is. If someone is looking for more concrete data that makes sense, one will often have to pay for it as this may be maintained or administered through a third party private company.
Many times, when a woman wants to change her name to match that of her husband's legal last name, she must produce a marriage record that shows she is married and is eligible to change it legally in the first place.
A marriage license is a government issued document that states she is legally entitled to all the benefits and tax breaks for being married as well.
When it comes to the marriage records, just like anything else, they can be a valuable tool and also a menace, however this depends upon who uses them. The press can easily use them to give their ratings a boost in readers yet can easily damage someone's reputation in the same light.
A lawyer can use this to taint the image of a potential witness or someone just as easily can take this publicly available information and really use it in a libel or slanderous way while by posting it conveniently on the Internet for the whole world to see just that much easier.
Now, there is not a need to fret however. Many times, the purpose of the marriage records is just to give general notice to the public that these two individuals have entered into a legal contract with each other and they accept full rights and responsibilities that come along with this legal contract that the state essential grants them.
Most of the time people do not have much to worry about their public information being even made more public on the Internet. The average Joe prankster is too worried about his own problems in life that he's not going to waste his time trying to make anyone else look more like a fool as it is.