How To Get Married in Colombia
Marriages between Colombians and foreigners are becoming more common every year but the question remains, how to get married in Colombia? Here are some legal issues to considering before planning a Colombian marriage to make the process as easier as possible. For more information see our site dedicated to Colombian marriage visa, (click here).
1. Colombian citizens have a birth certificate which also indicates current marriage or divorce status. Before anyone can marry in Colombia, a judge or notary (Called Notaria in Colombia) will need to verify that the Colombian birth certificates indicate single status. A citizen of Colombia cannot be married in Colombia if their birth certificate shows they are married to another person. In the way, Colombia ensures that Colombian citizens are not married to more than one person at the same time. The Colombian marriage law is very strict on that issue.
2.When a foreigner is getting married in Colombia, they must also prove that they are single, by providing a variety of documents. This proof must be submitted before a marriage license will be approved. Since the documents will most likely be from another country, they must be apostilled, which is a formal authentication performed in the country of origin. Also, if the required documents are not originally drafted in Spanish, they must be translated by an official translator before they will be accepted. we can order birth certificates in Colombia (click here)
3. If either or both parties getting married in Colombia already have children, a judge is required to review the couple’s assets in order to protect the children’s future rights and well-being. The judge must ascertain which assets belonged to which party before they began their relationship. This is accomplished by both people declaring their assets through an attorney. The formal declaration is then reviewed by a judge. A Colombian marriage license will not be issued without a judge’s approval if children are involved.
There are two other options to consider in Colombia:
There are two other options to consider in Colombia to be certified as a Colombian and foreign couple.
A) If you already have a Civil Union from another country, you can certify that relationship (Legalize your civil union in Colombia) instead of going through a traditional marriage in Colombia.
B) Alternatively, you could consider a Common Law Marriage performed in Colombia
Both options are performed by a Notaria in Colombia. The ceremony is held in the Notaria’s office, and not in a religious location. Colombian notaries are similar to a County Clerk or Clerk of Court in the United States.
Large cities like Medellin and Bogota have many notaries and finding one is relatively easy, but you need to be very careful in selecting a reputable one. We have long standing relationships with many trust-worthy notaries and we would be happy to introduce you. Notaries also store many public documents for marriages and divorces in Colombia, including when a Colombian marries a foreigner. The Notary 1 in Bogota registers all marriages to Colombians reported by Colombian consulates overseas. Assistance for ordering and certifying public documents is available. Please contact us if your having problems.
Are you already in a Common Law Marriage without knowing it?
If you live together with your partner for 2 years in Colombia, your relationship automatically qualifies as a common law marriage. Unlike many countries which either don’t recognize common law unions, or set longer time frames to qualify, Colombia makes common law marriage a very appealing alternative. Keep in mind, however, that if you live with someone for 2 years, they will have equal rights to your assets, just as if you were in a traditional marriage.
If you are considering your options in Medellín (Colombia), we highly recommend a Civil Union as opposed to a traditional marriage. First, a Civil Union is much less expensive to perform with a Notaria, and the basic requirements are much simpler, if done correctly. Also, for a Civil Union you need not show a birth certificate and proof of single status. These documents can be difficult to produce, and expensive to legalize in Colombia.
At COLOMBIA LEGAL & ACCOUNTING S.A.S. our Colombian attorneys and staff provide quality legal assistance and will walk you through the Colombian marriage or Colombian civil union process with the utmost care and professionalism. Contact Us today to discuss your specific needs. For more assistance in Spanish please see our spanish website AbogadosMedellin.com.