Distance marriage, what you need to know in Cuba

Photo: Zoriana Stakhniv/Unplash

12 / September / 2022

the legal touch

Distance marriages are becoming more common for Cubans. Stories of those marrying without needing to occupy the same space are increasing and spreading. Several people in Cuba formalized unions with spouses living abroad, without the absence implying any obstacle. This has also become another mechanism for guaranteeing the migration processes of those wishing to leave the archipelago.

However, not all interested parties may know the procedural details of marrying in this manner. Social media users were consulted the touch regarding. The following text informs what you need to know to enter into a marriage at a distance. Also about the legal obstacles that Cubans are subjected to due to protocols that are not signed by the country’s state.

The law has not absorbed all the advantages of information and communication technologies; which would allow the marriage to be formalized via video call. However, he has long since established solutions to the problem.

A power of attorney is an institution that allows a person to grant powers that can only be exercised personally. Attorneys have general powers that would allow representation in almost any space or specific powers to perform a specific action or management.

Marriage is a legal act that can be concluded by proxy. A third party authorized by the absent spouse to represent him in the act of registration before the relevant official. Empowerment materializes through power. The power of attorney is a document drawn up by a notary in the presence of the spouse, who is not present for the formalization of the marriage, and in which he records the personal data of the other party, the proxy and the actions for which he is authorized in accordance with the wish of the authorizer (power of attorney).

In order for a power of attorney made in Cuba to be used outside the national territory, it must be legalized by the Ministries of Justice (Minjus) and Foreign Relations (Minrex). Procedures can be agreed at the International Legal Consultants at Minjus or at the Collective Law Firm.

The legalization process in Cuba is essential to proceed with the apostille; which consists in certifying the authenticity of the signature of the notary who made the power of attorney before the consular officers of the country where the document will be used. For example, if the document will be used for a marriage that will be formalized in Spain, after legalization before Minjus and Minrex, the power of attorney must be apostilled at the Spanish Consulate in Havana.

The Apostille process is mandatory for public documents issued in Cuba to be valid in the countries where the marriage takes place.

Marriage by proxy also allows homosexual couples who do not have guaranteed and recognized equal marriage in Cuba to marry. This presumption will continue provided one of the contracting parties is in a territory that recognizes same-sex marriage and the other has issued a power of attorney to a qualified person who is or may be present in the officiating state at the time of the marriage. ceremony.

Apostille is a requirement that has been removed by countries that have ratified Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization of Foreign Official Documents 1961. Countries that have ratified the agreement have agreed to remove the requirement for a prior apostille for the use of documents from other member countries on their territory. Article 2 of the Convention states that in order to use certain public documents, ―among which are notarial acts―, issued by one of the contracting parties in another, only legalization before the relevant national authority is necessary.

Parties that have signed and ratified the Convention may be consulted in connection. Cuba is not among those countries.


If you are interested in legal issues, you can visit our project elTOQUE Jurídico, where you will find analyzes and debates about laws, rights and legal processes in Cuba.

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