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Marriage in Spain

Marriage in Spain

Updated on Tuesday 21st November 2017

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If you think of getting married in Spain, you should know that the legally recognised ceremonies are represented by the civil and religious marriages. Foreigners can get married here only in the situation when one of the parties is a resident in Spain or if one of the persons is registered with the municipality where the ceremony will take place. Certain exemptions are granted in this sense and they are applicable to religious ceremonies. Our team of lawyers in Spain can offer in-depth assistance on the documents that should be submitted by the applicants, depending on the type of marriage they are interested in. 

Types of marriage ceremonies in Spain

Besides the civil and religious ceremonies available for marriage purposes in Spain, the legislation also prescribes the civil partnership, a type of ceremony available for same sex persons. 
The civil partnership is recognised by most of the Spanish autonomous communities, and it offers a set of legal rights (inherintance, property), which can be further detailed by our team of lawyers
The religious marriage is recognized by the law and there is no need to complete a civil marriage in order for the religious ceremony to take place. This is the case for Roman Catholic, Muslim, Protestant or Jewish marriages and the religious ceremony has the same legal status as the civil partnership.
The most common type of marriage in Spain is the civil one and it is fully recognized according to the local laws; it provides the right to inheritance, property, pensions and adoptions for the two spouses, who don’t need  to apply for a religious ceremony in order to be considered married
In order to obtain a marriage certificate, the two spouses must choose the civil marriage even if the religious ceremony is recognized by the local laws.


The civil marriage in Spain 

The civil marriage in Spain is a bureaucratic procedure and it may take some time, that’s why you should prepare the necessary paperwork for the procedure a few months in advance. In order to register for a civil marriage in Spain, both parties should have the minimum age of 18 years old. This is also applicable in the case of a religious marriage
If the future spouses are foreign citizens and they want to get married in Spain, al least one of them must be a resident in this country, starting two years before the marriage. This general rule can be different in various regions, so you should check before submitting the documents. Details about the conditions for getting married in Spain can be found on the website of the local Ministry of Justice.
The first step of the civil marriage procedure in Spain includes a file signed by the two future spouses, containing information on the fact that they are eligibile for marriage in Spain and that they meet all the legal requirements for getting married in this country. The couple needs a certificate of permission to marry that can be obtained from the local Civil Registry, District Court or Town Hall.
Foreigners wanting to get married in Spain should generally provide the following documents: 
the birth certificate (and a Spanish translation);
the passport;
the consular certificate that will state the fact that the applicant is eligible for marriage
Persons who have previously been married should also file documents related to the dissolution of the marriage (divorce or annulment documents). Widowed persons wishing to remarry must file specific documents, attesting the death of the previous spouse
If you are interested in finding out other steps that should be completed when getting married in Spain, you may contact our local attorneys. Our law firm in Spain can help you submit the documents for the civil ceremony and can offer tailored advice on the legal procedures for Spanish weddings



  • Celia 2017-11-20

    I am from USA and I will marry my Spanish partner the next year. We would like to apply for a civil marriage and this article was very helpful in this sense.

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