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Requirements to perform a civil marriage in Colombia

Marriage is an act that unites two people who love each other, who wish to share the rest of their lives together, but when we talk about civil marriage, we are talking about this same union, which provides rights, duties and obligations to couples.

It is very important for you to know that, before starting with all the preparations, decorations, reception venue, food, drinks and so on, the future spouses must gather a series of documents that will allow them to celebrate the civil marriage in Colombia.

If you as a couple have already made the decision to get married, and you want to know what requirements you must meet to perform a civil marriage in Colombia, continue reading this blog.

Some preliminary considerations

The situation of each couple is different, the state knows this, which is why, depending on the case, couples are required to gather and submit a series of specific documents that certify their eligibility to marry.

Also, it is a good solution to call a notary and ask about all the documents and requirements that you must present, this way you can save yourself a headache or two.

Now, in this article we would like to take the opportunity to share with you which documents are required to be presented in order for a couple to perform their civil marriage in Colombia.

Requirements for first-time couples

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The basic requirement for two people to perform their civil marriage in Colombia is that they do it freely, consciously and without any kind of pressure or obligation.

For this purpose, the persons who are going to get married must bring the following documents to the notary:

  • Birth certificate of both persons duly authenticated (authentication must not exceed 90 days).
  • Copy of the citizenship card of both parties.
  • Submit the marriage application in person.

All these documents must be delivered personally, if any of the parties cannot deliver them, they can send them with a third party by means of a power of attorney.

Requirements for underage couples

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Love has no age limit, and this is supported by the article 117 of the of the Colombian Civil Code, which states that:

Minors under the aforementioned age may not marry without the express written permission of their legitimate or natural parents. If either of them has died or is unable to grant this permission, the consent of the other will suffice; and if they disagree, the will of the father will prevail in all cases.

Under the same terms of this article, the consent of the adopting father and mother is required for the marriage of the adoptive son, under twenty-one* years of age, or of the adoptive daughter, under eighteen years of age.

So, if you are a minor (between 14 and 17) and wish to marry your partner, you must have written permission from your parents, who approve the union and give permission to perform the civil marriage in Colombia.

Requirement for couples with minor children from a previous union

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If either of the bride and groom have children from a previous relationship, in addition to presenting their birth certificates and citizenship cards, additional documentation is required:

  • Civil registry of birth of minor children.
  • Solemn inventory of assets.

The solemn inventory of assets is a procedure that seeks to protect the assets of minors. This document is requested for people who want to marry for the second time, which allows them to administer the assets of the minor child of the previous marriage.

This document can be requested before a family judge, who will assign a guardian in charge of identifying the assets of the minor child and making the inventory.

Requirements for couples with children in common

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There are cases where couples first have children and then decide to get married. If this is your case, you must present the following documents to the notary.

  • Birth certificate of both persons duly authenticated (authentication must not exceed 90 days).
  • Copy of the citizenship card of both parties.
  • Authenticated copy of the birth registration of the children, regardless of their age, in order to carry out the corresponding legitimization.

Requirement for couples getting married for the second time

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Things may not work out, but, we can all get a second chance. If you are remarrying in Colombia, you must present the following documents:

  • Birth certificate of both persons duly authenticated (authentication must not exceed 90 days).
  • Copy of the citizenship card of both parties.
  • Civil registry of the previous marriage with note of cessation of marriage, of the divorced person.
  • Dissolution and liquidation of the marital partnership of the divorced person.

If the person who wants to marry is a widow or widower, he/she must also present the spouse’s death certificate.

Requirement for couples marrying for the second time with minor children

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If you want to remarry, but, you have minor children from your previous relationship, you must present the following documents:

  • Birth certificate of both persons duly authenticated (authentication must not exceed 90 days).
  • Copy of the citizenship card of both parties.
  • Civil registry of the previous marriage with note of cessation of marriage, of the divorced person.
  • Dissolution and liquidation of the marital partnership of the divorced person.
  • Birth registration of minor children.
  • Solemn inventory of assets.

If the children you had from the previous relationship are of legal age, you only need to present their birth registration, a solemn inventory of assets is not required.

Requirement for foreign couples

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Love has no borders either, and if you want to formalize your civil marriage in Colombia with a couple from abroad you must present the following documents:

  • Birth certificate of the Colombian fiancé(e) duly authenticated (authentication must not exceed 30 days).
  • Citizenship card of the Colombian fiancé or fiancée.
  • Birth certificate of the foreign bride or groom, apostilled and original (if the foreign bride or groom’s native language is not Spanish, it must be duly translated).
  • Certificate of unmarried status of both bride and groom.
  • Visa or permission to enter Colombia for the foreign fiancé or fiancée.
  • Passport or foreigner’s identity card of the foreign bride or groom.

If the foreign bride or groom is divorced, the divorce decree must be apostilled and translated if it is not in Spanish. You should keep in mind that the documents required for the foreign bride or groom should not have a date of issue greater than 90 days.

Equal civil marriage in Colombia

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As of April 26, 2016, people belonging to the LGBTIQ community can contract civil marriages in Colombia. This made Colombia the 4th country in Latin America where LGBTIQ couples can enter into civil marriages.

The law also stated that all notary offices in the country are authorized to receive marriage applications from this community, and are obliged to accept them, if any rejection should occur, a tutela action may be filed.

Couples of the LGBTIQ community who want to enter into a civil marriage in Colombia, must present the same documents as heterosexual couples, so, these couples must also see their case, and present the required documents that we present in this blog.

If you have any other questions about civil marriage in Colombia, Servicio Legal can help you. You just have to contact us through our website by clicking here.
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