Legal Marriage in Costa Rica
You do not need to apply for a marriage certificate in your home country or Costa Rica. Under Costa Rican law, women do not change their surnames when they marry. In legal documents and in your marriage certificate, your names will appear as they currently appear in your passports. You can begin the process of changing your surname in your country of residence if you wish when your marriage certificate is sent to your country. Are you excited to say the big “yes” to heaven, but feel a little overwhelmed by how to legally get married in Costa Rica? Have you wondered what paperwork needs to be completed when you need to submit, who to contact, or what other questions exist about how U.S. citizens can get married in Costa Rica? Believe it or not, the legal process for marriage in Costa Rica is very simple! Without further ado, let`s take a look at the 3 simple requirements to get married legally in Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, the administrative formalities for marriages are relatively simple. You don`t have to deal with blood tests or wait times. In fact, you don`t need to apply for a marriage license at home or in Costa Rica. With just a little planning, you can make sure you meet the legal requirements so that your wedding counts both in Costa Rica and at home.
Note: Two witnesses (relatives or friends) are required. After the ceremony, the couple, their witnesses and a lawyer sign the declaration of marriage. It is then submitted to Costa Rica`s Civil Registry, the state institution that registers marriages. After registration, which usually takes about 10 weeks, the registry office executes the marriage certificate and sends the couple a certificate officially translated and certified by the consulate to submit to their marriage. Costa Rican weddings are recognized worldwide. You must be at least 18 years old to get married in Costa Rica. Costa Rican weddings are recognized worldwide. Please note, however, that same-sex marriages are currently not allowed or recognized in Costa Rica, mainly due to Costa Rica`s devotion to the Catholic religion, which prohibits this type of union. If a woman is divorced or widowed, she can not remarry until 300 days after the official date of issuance of her divorce decree or her ex-husband`s death certificate. She may waive this requirement if she proves before her marriage that she is not pregnant. As the U.S.
Bureau of Consular Affairs points out, getting married abroad can be a complicated process that takes time and is expensive. However, this is not necessary if you decide to get married in Costa Rica. At a destination wedding, regularities can often be a source of fear. Finally, you want to make sure that your marriage is legal in your home country. Costa Rican law requires that two witnesses (non-family members) attend the wedding. They must provide copies of their passport and a declaration of marital status, nationality, address and profession. On the day of the ceremony, two documents are signed by the bride and witnesses: an affidavit certifying the civil status and the marriage certificate itself. Getting married in Costa Rica can be a beautiful experience in a picturesque setting and for only a fraction of the price you would pay in North America.
We gave a wedding for 100 people including ALL the food, even rings, dress, tuxedo, cake, etc., we only paid about $3,000 and it was lovely. Of course, the price of alcohol could significantly increase these costs. You don`t have to pay for decorations if you choose a naturally beautiful place that will save you a lot. If you`ve ever been married, this adds another element to your documents. Make sure your lawyer is aware of a previous marriage and write down the necessary information, such as: your ex-spouse`s name and the court where your divorce was granted. After the wedding day, the lawyer will submit the signed documents to the Costa Rican Civil Registry Office (the state institution that registers marriages in Costa Rica). Official documents will be translated and sent approximately 4-8 weeks after the wedding. UPDATE! – Since April 2020, I am proud that our country, Costa Rica, now recognizes same-sex couples and their right to marry! 🙂 Tip: Officially, the lawyer must read all or part of the Costa Rican Civil Code on marriage during your ceremony. This is a rather uninspired and somewhat outdated legal code that can last up to 20 minutes at some weddings. Most wedding lawyers and coordinators are very flexible and can work with you to design a ceremony and text that meets your needs and desires.
Insist. If you`re looking for service beyond what your hotel can provide, or want to do it yourself, check out www.weddings.co.cr, www.costaricaweddingcelebrations.com, or www.tropicaloccasions.com. At least one month before your wedding ceremony, you must fill out a form asking you to list relevant identification information for you and your partner, such as: Your dates of birth – you must be at least 18 years old -, address(es), parents` names, etc. You will also need to send scans of your passports. This step in the process is similar to applying for a marriage license in the United States. When you get married in church, the process is very different. Honestly, if you have not set your sights on this type of marriage and you are not very religious, this option should not be an option because it is quite complex. You must provide the same information as above.
However, you must also: You must choose an official who has the legal authority to approve your marriage in Costa Rica. There are a few options to choose from, depending on the type of ceremony you want to have: To be legally recognized in the United States, your Costa Rican marriage certificate must: You can also hire a great photographer here in Costa Rica, as well as a local videographer, caterer, baker, and anyone else you need to create the wedding of your dreams.