Is Your Marriage Recognized If You Move To Another Country?

After getting married, you may decide that you want to live your life abroad. You have all the other paperwork in order, but what about your marriage? Will this be recognized or will you need to do it all again? Are you putting yourself at risk by moving with your spouse to another country?

Legal Marriages Recognized Elsewhere

In the majority of cases, your marriage will be recognized. This will only be if your marriage was legal in the country you were originally in when you married. For example, if you enter a bigamist marriage in a country that makes bigamy illegal, your marriage would be void and not recognized in your new country.

You will need to make sure all paperwork was signed and delivered correctly after the marriage. You'll also need to ensure you went through with any residency or living requirements set out by the country you were married in.

Following Country or Provincial Laws

A marriage will be recognized as long as that marriage also followed any provincial or country laws, in some cases. For example, Quebec states that marriages must follow the basic Quebec laws, even if it followed the country laws. Some countries allow marriages of people under 16, but this is not supported by Quebec.

Likewise, same-sex marriage is not supported in all states or countries around the world. If you entered into a same-sex marriage and then moved to where your marriage wouldn't have been allowed to take place, it will not usually be recognized by that country.

Have Your Marriage License or Certificate

To help support your marriage, you should have your documentation with you. This will help to support your claim that you are married and that it was legal in the original country. If you don't still have your marriage certificate, you can apply for a new one from the country you were married in at a cost.

If your certificate or license is in a different language than the one you are moving to, you will likely need to have it translated. Make sure this is by someone courts will approve.

Each country is different. You will need to check the legalities of the country you are moving to for detailed information over whether your marriage will be accepted. In the majority of countries, it will be, as long as it was legal where you got married in the first place and follows the basic laws in the new country.

For family law attorneys, contact a law firm such as Reagan, Melton, & Delaney LLP.