Getting married in Argentina when you've been divorced in another country.

  • This isn't a guide as such, more of a personal experience, which may be helpful to anyone else in a similar situation.

    I was married in England and subsequently divorced in Spain due to my ex wife still living there at the time and a divorce document was issued by the local court, of which I have the original.

    Anyway, my lady and I want to get married in BA, but of course we need to jump through a few hoops first and this is not unexpected.

    Today we went to the Vicente Lopez registry office with a certified copy of my marriage (previous) certificate with an apostille attached, as well as the original divorce judgement from Spain.

    All well and good so far.

    As expected, the girl in the booth wasn't qualified to advise on this subject, so she went off and consulted with a more senior colleague and returned with the following information:

    The Spanish divorce judgement will need to be legalised/apostilled with a competent authority, which we have to assume is the Spanish consulate here in BA, because they couldn't confirm that to be the case. We are now making enquiries in that direction.

    The apostilled, certified copy of my marriage certificate needs to be 'updated'.

    Now, that threw me completely, because the apostilled document should not have a sell-by date, but some countries may insist that it's no longer valid. I can obtain a new certified and apostilled marriage certificate from the UK General Register Office (GRO) for around £40. This will then need to be translated into Spanish by a certified member of the Argentine College of Translators.

    So far, so good.

    In Argentina and a handful of other countries, when a couple get divorced, the marriage certificate is endorsed showing that the marriage has been annulled. This is known as a nota marginal and without it, the marriage is still considered to be in force, so to speak - at least in Argentina. (The UK does not endorse marriage certificates in this way)

    Since the divorce took place in Spain, one would assume that, since they are one of the few countries that endorse marriage certificates with the nota marginal annulling the marriage, the certificate could be endorsed.

    However, further research has indicated that the original marriage would need to have been registered in Spain for this to be possible. This then begs the question: how could they issue a divorce judgement if the marriage wasn't registered in Spain in the first place?

    I was armed with information on this rather complicated issue prior to going to the registry, having previously spoken to someone at the British Embassy. At one time the embassy would issue something known as a certificate of no impediment (CNI), but it's now my understanding that they don't issue these any more. The registry therefore asked if the embassy could issue a letter stating that they don't issue such certificates, so I've been in touch with the embassy again for their comment.

    Reading between the lines here and based on what information I was able to gleen from a UK lawyer, if we were to get married in the UK, all that would be required would be a translated version of the Spanish judgement, since an EU divorce is recognised in the UK.

    That's an avenue that we're also exploring, but in the meantime we're going to chat with an Argentine lawyer friend of the family and then contact the Spanish consulate for clarification on the document legalisation issue.

    More posts on this will follow, be in no doubt.

  • Usually apostilles are not issued by Embassies and Consulates, only in the country that issued the record originally (Spain, in your case). It is worth exploring the issue with the local Spanish embassy, though, given the distances. However, since apostille checks the signature of the Court Clerk, and the Spanish Embassy in Buenos Aires hasn't access to this information, I doubt you will get a favorable answer. Worth a try, but don't hold up too much expectation on this.


    The good thing is that since the sentence is in Spanish, once you are done with the apostille, there is no translation involved.

    It is not clear to me why you should provide in Argentina your divorce registration in the UK, as well, since you are already providing the certificate of no impediment.


    Keep us posted!

  • Here's a quick update:

    I received a reply from the Spanish consulate saying that they don't do legalisations here and that my divorce decree would have to be legalised/apostilled in Spain, which is the reply I was expecting.

    The good news is that I can have anyone in Spain do this for me, provided I sign the accompanying form. It's also free of charge, apparently.

    This link is very helpful.

    https://www.mjusticia.gob.es/c…alizacion-unica-apostilla


    I also had a call from the British embassy confirming that they can issue a standard letter in Spanish, with some of the following statements:


    None of the Register Offices in England and
    Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland issue certificates of marital status

    ...and

    UK marriage certificates are not amended or updated after the couple are
    divorced.

    This is particularly important with regards to the nota marginal.

    Further information can be found here for British citizens:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/no…vices-guide-for-argentina

    https://assets.publishing.serv…mative_note._Marriage.pdf


    They will be signing and stamping the document, ready for my collection in a couple of days.


    I'd also like to thank GlasgowJohn for his help.





  • We Italians can also get married at the Italian consulate. Ever considered this option, given the fancy setting of the UK embassy?




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Update

    I retrieved the document from the embassy back in May and in the meantime had the Spanish divorce document posted to me in England for when I was there in March.

    All well and good so far.

    We then went to the local registry office armed with the Spanish divorce papers and the Embassy document (a document that simply states what they don't do :scratchead:).

    I knew in my gut that this wouldn't be enough and sure enough, the divorce document needs to be apostilled in Spain and I also need a certified copy of my marriage certificate apostilled and translated to Spanish.

    Okay then.

    Following several weeks of digging around, I finally found the correct office in Barcelona that does FREE apostilles and arranged a notarised document of authorisation allowing a contact of mine in Barcelona to go to the office and get the damn thing apostilled. I posted the document and two weeks later it arrived in Spain, only to find that when he went there, the document was a scanned copy which can't be apostilled. It looked very original to me at the time.

    Without going into details, the original could not be found and so I contacted the lawyer who had handled the case originally (big mistake) and he quoted me 500 euros to acquire a certified original copy.

    When I had finally scraped myself off the ceiling, I phoned the court in Spain and was delighted to discover that the service is free of charge and only takes a couple of days (Spanish couple of days lol.)

    The plan is for one of my other contacts who lives about 35 mins from the court, to go there and arrange the certified (testimoniada) copy which they can then pass on to my other contact in Barcelona for him to get it apostilled and hopefully back to me here in one piece.

    In the meantime, I'm acquiring a certified, apostilled copy of my marriage certificate direct from a UK government agency, which will then be translated to Spanish.

    Once we have everything in hand, we will return to the registry office and cross our fingers.

  • Mamma mia, what a bureaucratic nightmare.


    Yesterday I was looking for information on how to get a marriage certificate from Puerto Rico apostilled in Puerto Rico, and all I could find was private services (providers) quoting 200 to 350 USD to get an apostille.

    Digging on the internet, I found a newspaper article where it read that the apostille costs 3 USD.


    And a while ago, I was inquiring how to get a death certificate plus apostille from México. A service provider quoted me 180 USD, when online, the Registro Civil said the certificate was issued for FREE and the apostille only cost 10 USD. The thing is that you need somebody to physically bring the certificate from the Registro Civil to the Apostille office. And that's where money goes down the toilet!

  • Nothing seems to be straightforward whenever the Spanish are involved. First I've seen of this thread otherwise my wife may have been able to help.


    The process of getting married to an Argentine here was enough for me....and that was the first marriage for the both of us.

  • Nothing seems to be straightforward whenever the Spanish are involved. First I've seen of this thread otherwise my wife may have been able to help.


    The process of getting married to an Argentine here was enough for me....and that was the first marriage for the both of us.

    When did you get married? When I got married (2014) it was pretty straightforward, but I had come prepared because I found step by step guides on the Internet. I can see some curveballs being thrown in the pre-internet era, when those information were impossible to find beforehand.

  • When did you get married? When I got married (2014) it was pretty straightforward, but I had come prepared because I found step by step guides on the Internet. I can see some curveballs being thrown in the pre-internet era, when those information were impossible to find beforehand.

    2000 I think :/...she'll crucify me if I'm wrong. ^^


    It seemed to me to be a faff especially the having to get married twice in three days part not to mention getting my blood tested. She dealt with the paperwork side of it as I found it all far too confusing....we both had to go to Buenos Aires several times for most of that.