Will France recognize our American church wedding?

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Will France recognize our American church wedding?


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Old 10th February 2011, 10:22 PM
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Default Will France recognize our American church wedding?

If you've read my other posts you know that Antoine and I are getting married in May and then me and my daughters will be moving to him in France, hopefully in August. I know that French church weddings aren't recognized in France. But since church weddings are recognized here in the U.S., and we will have a legal U.S. marriage license as a result of our U.S. church wedding, will France recognize it? Or will we also have to get married at the courthouse here to make it legal in France?

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Old 10th February 2011, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by julievmk View Post
If you've read my other posts you know that Antoine and I are getting married in May and then me and my daughters will be moving to him in France, hopefully in August. I know that French church weddings aren't recognized in France. But since church weddings are recognized here in the U.S., and we will have a legal U.S. marriage license as a result of our U.S. church wedding, will France recognize it? Or will we also have to get married at the courthouse here to make it legal in France?
No. You don't need to also marry in the courthouse but you will need the marriage certificate (or equivalent) issued from the state.

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Old 11th February 2011, 05:51 AM
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France only recognizes the civil marriage, which means you need to have the marriage license/certificate. In order for you to get a visa to join your husband in France, you will need to get a certified marriage license - which is issued by the State rather than by the local (town or county) authorities. This is required for obtaining your livret de famille (the French document that "proves" that you're married).

You should probably start checking now about how to get that certified marriage license. In some cases, you have to apply to the State (after the wedding, obviously), in others you have your local wedding license "apostilled" - which involves having the State authenticate and validate it.

You then submit that to the French consulate for them to issue the livret de famille and then you can apply for your spouse visa.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 11th February 2011, 06:28 AM
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France only recognizes the civil marriage, which means you need to have the marriage license/certificate.
What Bev means is within France, only civil marriage has legal validity - any religious ceremony you may have afterwards has no meaning. But when it comes to recognising foreign marriages, a marriage that is legal under the law of another country, such as church marriages in US, is recognised, provided you have statutory marriage licence/certificate issued under the law of the country.

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Old 11th February 2011, 06:49 AM
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I called the county courthouse and the clerk told me they do the certified marriage certificate right there, and it costs $3. Do you think she gave me the wrong info?

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Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
France only recognizes the civil marriage, which means you need to have the marriage license/certificate. In order for you to get a visa to join your husband in France, you will need to get a certified marriage license - which is issued by the State rather than by the local (town or county) authorities. This is required for obtaining your livret de famille (the French document that "proves" that you're married).

You should probably start checking now about how to get that certified marriage license. In some cases, you have to apply to the State (after the wedding, obviously), in others you have your local wedding license "apostilled" - which involves having the State authenticate and validate it.

You then submit that to the French consulate for them to issue the livret de famille and then you can apply for your spouse visa.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 11th February 2011, 06:53 AM
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Thanks for clarifying.

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Originally Posted by Joppa View Post
What Bev means is within France, only civil marriage has legal validity - any religious ceremony you may have afterwards has no meaning. But when it comes to recognising foreign marriages, a marriage that is legal under the law of another country, such as church marriages in US, is recognised, provided you have statutory marriage licence/certificate issued under the law of the country.

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Old 11th February 2011, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by julievmk View Post
I called the county courthouse and the clerk told me they do the certified marriage certificate right there, and it costs $3. Do you think she gave me the wrong info?
Depends on what they mean by "certified" - but you might want to check with the French consulate in San Francisco to see if they'll accept it. (If they will, go for it!)

It may still take a bit of time to get the livret de famille as it seems like they are requiring the fact of the marriage be posted to the French spouse's birth record before they'll issue the livret. This can take a bit of time, depending on the town your fiancÚ was born in.
Cheers,
Bev

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