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Court Rules Marriages Performed in Foreign Country Valid in Maryland

Ruling on Congo couple's marriage suggests ceremonies with one spouse represented by proxy or long-distance communication may be valid.

Maryland
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Key point 3-04. All states permit clergy to perform marriage ceremonies. However, some states permit only "ordained" or some other classification of clergy to perform marriage ceremonies. It is important for clergy to determine if they are legally authorized to perform marriages under applicable state law, and in addition, to be aware of the legal qualifications for marriage and any license and reporting requirements prescribed by state law.

A Maryland court addressed the validity of marriages performed in foreign countries in a ruling that will be relevant to many pastors. A man and woman, both natives of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), met in 1993 and decided to marry. The marriage occurred in December of 1993. The husband was not able to physically attend his wedding due to his work schedule, but designated his cousin to represent him. In addition, the husband "participated" ...

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Posted:
  • April 30, 2014

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