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EMJ1219, Army First Sergeant (RET)
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 10760
Experience:  Army First Sergeant: military sourced training in UCMJ, Status of Forces Agreements, D&A, etc.
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Can i get married while deployed

Customer Question

I am curently in iraq. I have a fiance. We want to get married while im over here and just have the ceremony when i get back.The reason we want to get married is so she can get some of the benifits while im over here.Is their a way to do it?If so How?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  EMJ1219 replied 9 years ago.


There are some ways.

I see you are stationed in Colorado, so I first want to find out if you have a immigration status in the U.S.

I understand that you are a resident of California and taht your Fiance is a Canadian Citizen as well.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I am an american cit born and raised in california.Is that what you ment by immigration status.
Expert:  EMJ1219 replied 9 years ago.


I appologzie for taking so long.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX is what I was talking about.

You said you were a resident of CA, I am not sure if you meant California or Canada.

There is a way for you to get married in your circumstances. But it is a feat. Let me explain.

You indicate that you want to get married,but have the ceremony later. The problem with that is that there ALWAYS has to be some kind of ceremony. You have to be married by a commander, a judge, or religious somewhere, and that always takes a marriage license, if you want the marriage recognized in the United States, Canada or by the military. You can have another ceremony later for the relatives and or receptions as needed when you return to the states.

I know I do not have to tell you, that you are in a combat zone. BUT, the harsh reality of that is that your fiance is not going to be able to get there as a civilian. Civlian air travel is 98 percent impossible to get flying into the hot zones. It has happened though. During Desert Strom, a couple of wives showed up in Iraq, via Kuwait. AND, do you really want your future spouse coming to IRAQ for the marriage.

So this means your options are limited. (internet marriages are not recognized by any state or proviincial governement of the U.S. or Canada).

1. Phone marriage OR

2. Take a leave or R&R to a location outside of IRAQ, meeting her there, and getting married at that location. ( Depends on your units participation in R&R program or if any R&R slots are available).

3. Marriage by proxy

to coordiante the phone marriage you have to have a marriage license. To get the marriage license in the U.S., it will have to be from yoru state home of record, or the state where you were stationed.

A little known clause in the Sailers and Soldiers Relief act, allows deployed military to be represented in court by a representative or agent. This clause allows you to have a representative, with copies of your ID and Birth Certifiate, to represent you in obtaining a marraige license. Your fiance will have to gain legal entry to the U.S. through at least a tourist visa, and accompany your agent or proxy to the city hall to get the marriage license, because both of you have to be thre to get it.

NOTE: There is nothing in law that requires a court or governmetn agency to honor that clause. It is discretionary. This means that not every city hall representative or country clerk is going to recognize or allow the proxy to get your marriage license for you.

Once you have the marriage license, you only need to find an officiate to conduct the ceremony over the phone, using your proxy in the states, and you in Iraq. This is nto as easy as it sounds.

NOTE 2: Commanders are not allowed to conduct a ceremony except at sea, and in the absence of a magistrate or clergy. (the term magistrate means a JP, Judge, or officer of the court).

Once you and your fiance determine where it is you will get married: Colorado, california or Canada, then you start the task of getting the absentee marriage license, and start making arrangements for the over the phone proxy marriage. your proxy stands in for you in the U.S. for the ceremony.


Colorado Proxy Marriage Law:

Solemnization and registration.

    (2) If a party to a marriage is unable to be present at the solemnization, such party may authorize in writing a third person to act as such party's proxy. If the person solemnizing the marriage is satisfied that the absent party is unable to be present and has consented to the marriage, such person may solemnize the marriage by proxy. If such person is not satisfied, the parties may petition the district court for an order permitting the marriage to be solemnized by proxy.CALIFORNIA PROXY MARRIAGE LAW (especailly designed for military stationed in Iraq signed into law in 2004)SECTION 1. Section 350 of the Family Code a) Before entering a marriage, or declaring a marriage pursuant to Section 425, the parties shall first obtain a marriage license from a county clerk.(b) If a marriage is to be entered into pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 420, the attorney-in-fact shall appear before the county clerk on behalf of the party who is overseas, as prescribed in subdivision (a). (Applies to you)From 354 of the code: (a) Each applicant for a marriage license may be required to present authentic identification as to name.b) For the purpose of ascertaining the facts mentioned or required in this part, if the clerk deems it necessary, the clerk may examine the applicants for a marriage license on oath at the time of the application. The clerk shall reduce the examination to writing and the applicants shall sign it,


(c) If necessary, the clerk may request additional documentary proof as to the accuracy of the facts stated.

(d) Applicants for a marriage license shall not be required to state, for any purpose, their race or color.

(e) If a marriage is to be entered into pursuant to subdivision

Section 420, the attorney-in-fact shall comply with the requirements of this section on behalf of the applicant who is overseas, if necessary.

SEC. 3. Section 355 of the Family Code is amended to read:

    355. (a) The forms for the application for a marriage license and the marriage license shall be prescribed by the State Department of Health Services, and shall be adapted to set forth the facts required in this part.
    (b) The form for the application for a marriage license shall include an affidavit on the back, which the applicants shall sign, affirming that they have received the brochure provided for in Section 358. If the marriage is to be entered into pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 420, the attorney-in-fact shall sign the affidavit on behalf of the applicant who is overseas.
    (c) The affidavit required by subdivision (b) shall state:
    SEC. 4. Section 420 of the Family Code is amended to read:
    420. (a) No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required for solemnization of the marriage, but the parties shall declare, in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and necessary witnesses, that they take each other as husband and wife.
    (b) Notwithstanding subdivision
    (a), a member of the Armed Forces of the United States who is stationed overseas and serving in a conflict or a war and is unable to appear for the licensure and solemnization of the marriage may enter into that marriage by the appearance of an attorney-in-fact, commissioned and empowered in writing for that purpose through a power of attorney. The attorney-in-fact must personally appear at the county clerk's office with the party who is not stationed overseas, and present the original power of attorney duly signed by the party stationed overseas and acknowledged by a notary or witnessed by two officers of the United States Armed Forces. The power of attorney shall state the true legal names of the parties to be married, and that the power of attorney is solely for the purpose of authorizingg the attorney-in-fact to obtain a marriage license on the person's behalf and participate in the solemnization of the marriage. The original power of attorney shall be a part of the marriage certificate upon registration.
    (c) No contract of marriage, if otherwise duly made, shall be invalidated for want of conformity to the requirements of any religious sect.
    b) For the purpose of ascertaining the facts mentioned or required in this part, if the clerk deems it necessary, the clerk may examine the applicants for a marriage license on oath at the time of the application. The clerk shall reduce the examination to writing and the applicants shall sign it.

    I acknowledge that I have received the brochure titled___________
    Signature of Bride
    Signature of Groom

    NOTE 3: Canada does not recognize proxy marriage.

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