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

There are 12 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Splinter.

  • 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me completely, because the apostilled document should not have a sell-by date, but some countries may insist that it's no longer valid.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.…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


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

    This is particularly important with regards to the nota marginal.

    Further information can be found here for British citizens:…vices-guide-for-argentina


    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.

  • This is the reception area for the registry office in Olivos, where you do all the paperwork for DNIs etc. And you get married here.

    It's a darned sight more modern than when I first went in 2006.

    And this is the reception area of the British Embassy in BA.

    I like to risk snapping around hoping I don't get my collar felt.