Marriage Law Spain

In Spain there may be the following types of marriages:
  1. Religious marriage
  2. Civil marriage
Spanish law appears to permit foreigners who are not Spanish legal residents to marry in Spain.
Outside Madrid, it may be required that one party be a citizen or resident of Spain.
An application for civil marriage may be made at the Civil Registry if it is in Madrid or to the District Court of the bride or groom's residence if outside Madrid.
  1. Application form
    1. An application for marriage may be obtained either from the Civil Registry or the District Court.
  2. Birth certificate
    1. A birth Certificate must be an original document bearing the Apostille of the Hague.
    2. A translated copy of the same authenticated by a Spanish consulate must be provided.
  3. Proof of freedom to marry
    1. The Civil Registry of Madrid issues a document called the proof of freedom to marry.
    2. If there is no equivalent document can be produced then a sworn statement to the effect that the parties are single and free to marry, signed before an the consul of the persons willing to marry needs to be signed and that can be used.
  4. Certificate of residence
    1. A document showing the proof of residence may be obtained at the Junta Municipal of the Tenencia de Alcaldia in the district of residence.
    2. If a person is not a permanent resident in Spain, he/she can sign an affidavit before the consul of his/ her country indicating his/her place of residence for the last six years.
  5. Posting of Banns
    1. It means a declaration in public of the intent to marry. If the same is not valid in the country of a person that the embassy or consulate may issue a letter explaining it is not required.
  6. If one party was previously married- a marriage certificate
    1. If a person is already married he/she must present the previous marriage certificate and proof showing the marriage no longer exists (a divorce decree, an annulment certificate or a death certificate).
    2. The documents must be original, bear the Apostille of the Hague, translated into Spanish and the translation authenticated.                                                         TIME.
    3. It may take the Spanish authorities 30 to 45 days to approve a marriage application.
  1. Spanish law recognizes religious marriages without a second, civil ceremony.
  2. For a religious ceremony, couples first need authorization from the civil authorities, obtained by presenting the requirements described above.
  3. Each religious denomination may have separate documentary requirements.
  4. As most religious marriages in Spain involve Catholics, the requirements for the Catholic church are outlined below.
  5. A Catholic ceremony involving a foreigner requires the Bishopric's permission.
  1. Birth Certificate
    1. A birth certificate showing the date of birth translated to Spanish if not in Spanish and the translation needs to be authenticated by the consular of the person's country in Spain.
  2. Baptismal Certificate.
    1. It must have been issued no more than six months prior to the wedding and authenticated by the Bishopric of issuance.
    2. It must be translated and the translation authenticated.
  3. Proof that Both Parties are Free to Marry
    1. The document as proof that both parties are free to marry may be obtained from the Civil Registry of Spain.
    2. If the such document is not issued by the country of one of the parties to the marriage he/ she may give a sworn statement sworn statement by the parents of his/her stating that he/she has never been married, witnessed by the parish priest.
    3. The Church insists on a statement by the parents.
    4. The Bishopric of the parents' place of residence must authorize and seal the statement.
  4. A passport.
  5. A Spanish residence card/letter confirming residence from the police, if available.
  6. Certificate of residence (Certificado de Empadronamiento), proving residence in Spain of at least two years. These are available from the local town hall, and expire after three months.
  7. A marriage and divorce/death certificate, if either applicant has been married previously.
  1. Obtaining permission for a Catholic marriage takes from one to three weeks.