Legal Options for Marriage in the Dominican Republic The following information is only to serve as guidance to U.S. citizens who are contemplating getting married in the Dominican Republic. Neither the staff of the diplomatic mission or consular officers have legal authority to perform marriages. The marriage cannot be held in the United States Embassy or Consulate in the United States in the Dominican Republic.
General requirements for marriage
To get married in the Dominican Republic, the parties must have served a statutory minimum age (16 for men, 15 for women), legally unmarried, and must give their consent for marriage. Non-compliance of these requirements may result in the invalidation of marriage by the Dominican authorities.
In addition, foreigners wishing to marry in the Dominican Republic must submit the following documents:
• Original passport and copy of the biographical information page of the passport;• Copies of recent entry stamps;• Proof of Dominican residence (if not a resident of the Dominican Republic must pay an additional fee and must present your tourist card);
• Affidavit before a notary public, affirming their single status and eligibility for marriage, the affidavit then needs to be legalized in the offices of the Attorney General's Office. If the affidavit is made before a notary in the U.S.. UU., This then needs to be legalized at the nearest Dominican Consulate in the U.S.. UU. (In the past, the U.S. Embassy. UU. Allowed the Americans to make this affidavit of eligibility to marry (letter of singleness) before a Consular Officer. The Embassy has discontinued this practice several years ago because local registry officials interpreted this document as a statement that the embassy had verified the contents of the declaration of eligibility, when the consular officer was acting only as a witness that the individual in question had made such a statement. The American citizens need to fill this requirement must appear before a Dominican notary public - as explained above.
• Copy of your birth certificate and legal translation of the certificate, the Central Authorities in both the U.S. and the Dominican Republic now authenticate their own public documents such as birth certificates, death or marriage certificate with an apostille (name of the stamp of authentication). You can apostille your document on the Vital Records office in your state, or visiting www.italiamerica.org / vital_records.htm.
• If divorced, copy of certificate of divorce and legal translation of the certificate;• 2 witnesses (not relatives).In addition, Dominican law requires that a publication is made prior to the marriage celebration of the ceremony.
Celebration of marriage in the Civil Registry Office:
• Both the bride and groom are foreigners not residing in the Dominican Republic - RD $ 10,000.00 • One of the two is a nonresident alien in the Dominican Republic - RD $ 5,000.00 • Both the bride and groom are foreigners residing in the Dominican Republic - RD $ 1,000.00 Marriages outside the Civil Registry Office (If the Civil Official moves to any place outside the Civil Registry Office to celebrate the marriage)
• Both the bride and groom are foreigners not residing in the Dominican Republic - RD $ 15,000.00 • One of the two is a nonresident alien in the Dominican Republic - RD $ 8,000.00 • Both the bride and groom are foreigners residing in the Dominican Republic - RD $ 3,000.00 ** For the latest information on fees, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
Types of marriages
Marriages in the Dominican Republic fall into one of two categories:
• Marriages "Civilians" are those in which the parties record personally marriage with Civil Registry office. The person officiating the ceremony is a civil officer, usually a Notary Public. This choice of the couple to celebrate a religious ceremony or separately.
* In the past, the U.S. Embassy. UU. U.S. citizens allowed to make this affidavit of eligibility to marry (letter of singleness) before a U.S. consular officer. UU. The Embassy has discontinued this practice several years ago because local registry officials interpreted this document as a statement that the embassy had verified the contents of the declaration of eligibility, when the consular officer was acting only as a witness that the individual question had made that statement. U.S. citizens need to fill the requirement described in Section B must appear before a Dominican notary public.
• Marriages "canonical" are those carried out by the Roman Catholic Church. Following the ceremony, the Church assumes the responsibility for registering the marriage with the appropriate government offices."
Marriages performed in other religious denominations other than Roman Catholicism are legal and permitted. However, only the Roman Catholic Church has the power to register marriages directly. In the case of marriages in other denominations, both parties must be filed with the Registrar-Recorder to legalize marriage. Details regarding this procedure specified below under "Civil Marriages".
Marriage in the Dominican Republic is a civil contract between a man and women who agreed to marry freely and are fully capable of doing. To marry in the Dominican Republic, man and woman must meet the following requirements:
• The parties must express their consent for marriage;• Men aged 16 to 18 years of age or women between 15 and 18 years of age may marry with parental consent. The consent must be in writing and notarized, unless the person required to give such consent to do so while attending the ceremony, and
• Men under 16 and women under 15 cannot marry, even with parental consent, but the judge may grant a waiver for reasons worthy of consideration.
You cannot marry before the dissolution of a previous marriage. A divorced woman cannot get back until ten (10) months after the divorce has become final, unless her husband is the same person she has divorced.
The civil officer, at the time of marriage, the parties may dispense with any of these requirements for reasons worthy of consideration. Any such waiver must be in writing and explaining its causes must be stated on the certificate and marriage certificate.
The Officer will perform the ceremony in the presence of the parties involved, and witnesses required. During the ceremony, the civil officer will ask the parties and witnesses and other persons who authorize the marriage, if a contract has been concluded between them, and if so, to indicate the date hereof and name of Notary before whom made.
The marriage certificate shall contain the names of the parties, consent, the statement that they have been united by the bond and the date of the act. This act shall be signed by the official acting for the parties and witnesses, and then proceed to the registration of marriages in the civil status registers accordingly.
Civil marriage is dissolved by divorce or death of one spouse.
The canonical marriage celebrated by Roman Catholic priest has the same legal effect as a civil marriage.
As specified in the introductory part, the pastor is responsible for sending a copy of the minutes of its textual celebration of the competent civil officer within three (3) days following the conclusion of the marriage canon, so that the appropriate the transcript of the civil registry the same place. This obligation remains even if the civil marriage preceded the canon.
Matrimonial property regimes
In principle, any marriage of persons domiciled in the Dominican Republic boasts regime collapsed under the legal community. Therefore, any procedure other than the common law must be previously agreed by the parties and tested their choice before the civil officer. Dominican law provides for a range of matrimonial and also allows the parties, both existing schemes to choose from and modify the contract before entering into marriage, and even develop their own matrimonial property subject to the principles established in the law. When parties opt for a different regime of community, such as segregation, should have something in writing and approved by Dominican government officials.
1. Legal Community: This is the system most commonly used property in the Dominican Republic. It is characterized by the presence of three essential features:
• The existence of three groups of goods: - The common property, the property owned by women, and property owned by the husband.
Under the regime of "legal community", all marital property and furnishings, as well as property acquired during marriage are community property.• The power of the husband over the administration of the community, which cannot be denied or restricted by any clause or covenant of marriage, and• The existence of guarantees for the woman in front of mismanagement of assets by the husband, such as the action on judicial separation of property, the benefit of emoluments, legal mortgage on the property of the husband and finally giving up the community.With regard to (a), it should be noted that the "commons" are subdivided into "ordinary goods" and "reserved property." Ordinary goods entering the community in accordance with the rules of the Civil Code. The reserved goods, meanwhile, are proceeds of a woman's personal work. After the marriage, usually reserved goods continue to be managed by women, but legally are common property of both parties.
2. Reduced to the marital community: Under this system changes the composition of the commons, excluding the respective debts of the spouses (current and future) and their respective movable property (present and future).
3. Universal Community: Enter in the community all movable and immovable, present and future. The spouses can also agree that under this system the community will enter only their present or future goods.
NOTE: You may declare spouses who marry without any of the communities described above, choosing your own matrimonial regime. However, doing this does not guarantee women the right to manage their property or to receive the benefits that they earned. The goods are considered provided the husband to support the loads of marriage. However, the spouses may include property in their agreement a clause that permitted the wife to receive part of their income for their support and personal needs.
Separation schemes in no common property, but property owned by each spouse on whom each maintains the administration, disposition and enjoyment. However, the wife does not have the right to dispose of their property without the consent of her husband, and in his absence, without court permission.
This regime requires that the husband as an obligation to contribute to the household. Moreover, the movable are confused, becoming indispensable liquidation thereof in case of dissolution of marriage.
The woman responds with their property for debts incurred by it before marriage, and those arising as theirs for this. Also of the debts incurred by her or her husband (in case of insolvency of the other) to maintain the home.
For its part, the husband responds with their assets against debts contracted before or during the marriage, and those arising as theirs for this, also of the debts contracted by the wife as a representative of the conjugal union.
A variation of the separation scheme is the dowry system. In women the dowry system, rather than contribute to the costs of marriage with your income, assets or delivering some to her husband, who has the administration and enjoyment of them.
She possesses, in the dowry, goods that are not affected by the burdens of the home, called "separate property". The woman keeps the enjoyment and the administration of their separate property, but cannot alienate it without husband's permission, or failing that judicial permission.
If you need assistance, further explanation or written Separation Schemes, please contact me.
Written by Ana Borisova
Your personal legal adviser
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