Proxy marriage

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A proxy wedding or proxy marriage is a wedding in which one or both of the individuals being united are not physically present, usually being represented instead by other persons. If both partners are absent a double proxy wedding occurs.

Wedding ceremony where people are united in marriage

A wedding is a ceremony where two people are united in marriage. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of marriage vows by the couple, presentation of a gift, and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or celebrant. Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Music, poetry, prayers or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony, as well as superstitious customs originating in Ancient Rome.

Contents

Marriage by proxy is usually resorted to either when a couple wish to marry but one or both partners cannot attend for reasons such as military service, imprisonment, or travel restrictions; or when a couple lives in a jurisdiction in which they cannot legally marry.

Proxy weddings are not recognized as legally binding in most jurisdictions: both parties must be present. Under the English common law, if a proxy marriage is valid by the law of the place where the marriage was celebrated (the lex loci celebrationis ) then it will be recognised in England. [1] [2]

Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice within a defined field of responsibility, e.g., Michigan tax law. In federations like the United States, areas of jurisdiction apply to local, state, and federal levels; e.g. the court has jurisdiction to apply federal law.

Lex loci celebrationis is a Latin term for a legal principle in English common law, roughly translated as "the law of the land where the marriage was celebrated". It refers to the validity of the union, independent of the laws of marriage of the countries involved: where the two individuals have legal nationality or citizenship, or where they live. The assumption under the common law is that such a marriage, when lawfully and validly celebrated under the relevant law of the land, is also lawful and valid.

History

The Wedding by Proxy of Marie de' Medici to King Henry IV by Peter Paul Rubens (1622-25) Peter Paul Rubens 052.jpg
The Wedding by Proxy of Marie de' Medici to King Henry IV by Peter Paul Rubens (1622–25)

Starting in the Middle Ages, European monarchs and nobility sometimes married by proxy. Some examples of this include:

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Mary, Queen of Hungary Queen regnant (rex, king) of Hungary

Mary, also known as Maria of Anjou, reigned as Queen of Hungary and Croatia between 1382 and 1385, and from 1386 until her death. She was the daughter of Louis the Great, King of Hungary and Poland, and his wife, Elizabeth of Bosnia. Mary's marriage to Sigismund of Luxembourg, a member of the imperial Luxembourg dynasty, was already decided before her first birthday. A delegation of Polish prelates and lords confirmed her right to succeed her father in Poland in 1379.

Louis I, Duke of Orléans French prince, regent of France

Louis I of Orléans was Duke of Orléans from 1392 to his death. He was also, Duke of Touraine (1386–1392), Count of Valois (1386?–1406) Blois (1397–1407), Angoulême (1404–1407), Périgord (1400–1407) and Soissons (1404–07).

Henry IV of England 15th-century King of England

Henry IV, also known as Henry Bolingbroke, was King of England from 1399 to 1413, and asserted the claim of his grandfather, Edward III, to the Kingdom of France.

Further, a famous 17th-century painting by Peter Paul Rubens depicts the proxy marriage of Marie de' Medici in 1600. By the end of the 19th century the practice had largely died out. [dead link 1]

Peter Paul Rubens Flemish painter

Sir Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish artist. He is considered the most influential artist of Flemish Baroque tradition. Rubens's highly charged compositions reference erudite aspects of classical and Christian history. His unique and immensely popular Baroque style emphasized movement, color, and sensuality, which followed the immediate, dramatic artistic style promoted in the Counter-Reformation. Rubens specialized in making altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.

Marie de Medici Queen of France, second wife of King Henry IV of France

Marie de' Medici was Queen of France as the second wife of King Henry IV of France, of the House of Bourbon. She was a member of the wealthy and powerful House of Medici. Following the assassination of her husband in 1610, which occurred the day after her coronation, she acted as regent for her son, King Louis XIII of France, until 1617, when he came of age. She was noted for her ceaseless political intrigues at the French court and extensive artistic patronage.


Today

As of 2015, various Internet sites offer to arrange proxy and double-proxy marriages for a fee, although the service can generally be set up by any lawyer in a jurisdiction that offers proxy marriage. Video conferencing allows couples to experience the ceremony together. [3] A unique "space wedding" took place on August 10, 2003 when Ekaterina Dmitriev married Yuri Malenchenko, a cosmonaut orbiting the Earth in the International Space Station, by proxy in Texas, US. [4]

Yuri Malenchenko Russian cosmonaut

Yuri Ivanovich Malenchenko is a retired Russian cosmonaut. Malenchenko became the first person to marry in space, on 10 August 2003, when he married Ekaterina Dmitrieva, who was in Texas, while he was 240 miles over New Zealand, on the International Space Station. As of June 2016, Malenchenko ranks second for career time in space due to his time on both Mir and the International Space Station (ISS). He is a former Commander of the International Space Station.

Orbit gravitationally curved path of an object around a point in outer space; circular or elliptical path of one object around another object

In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an object, such as the trajectory of a planet around a star or a natural satellite around a planet. Normally, orbit refers to a regularly repeating trajectory, although it may also refer to a non-repeating trajectory. To a close approximation, planets and satellites follow elliptic orbits, with the central mass being orbited at a focal point of the ellipse, as described by Kepler's laws of planetary motion.

International Space Station Habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit

The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. Its first component was launched into orbit in 1998, with the first long-term residents arriving in November 2000. It has been inhabited continuously since that date. The last pressurised module was fitted in 2011, and an experimental inflatable space habitat was added in 2016. The station is expected to operate until 2030. Development and assembly of the station continues, with several new elements scheduled for launch in 2019. The ISS is the largest human-made body in low Earth orbit and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth. The ISS consists of pressurised habitation modules, structural trusses, solar arrays, radiators, docking ports, experiment bays and robotic arms. ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets and American Space Shuttles.

Legality

United States

In the United States, proxy marriages are provided for in law or by customary practice in Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and Montana. [5] [6] [7] Of these, Montana is the only state that allows double-proxy marriage. [8] Proxy marriages cannot be solemnized in any other U.S. state. [9]

In 1924, a federal court recognized the proxy marriage of a resident of Portugal, where proxy marriages were recognized at the time, and a resident of Pennsylvania, where common-law marriages could be contracted at the time. [10] The Portuguese woman was allowed to immigrate to the United States on account of the marriage, whereas she would have been inadmissible otherwise due to being illiterate. [10]

During the early 1900s, United States proxy marriages increased significantly when many Japanese picture brides arrived at Angel Island, California. Since the early 20th century, it has been most commonly used in the United States for marriages where one partner is a member of the military on active duty. [dead link 1] In California, proxy marriage is only available to deployed military personnel. In Montana, it is available if one partner is either on active military duty or is a Montana resident. [8] In the United states if a proxy marriage has been performed in a state that legally allows it many states will recognize it fully or will recognize it as a common law marriage. The exception to this is the state of Iowa where it is completely unrecognized. [11]

Germany

Germany does not allow proxy marriages within its jurisdiction (§ 1311 BGB). It recognizes proxy marriages contracted elsewhere where this is possible, subject to the usual rules of private international law, unless the foreign law should be incompatible with German ordre public (art. 6 EGBGB): this is not the case with the marriage by proxy per se, would be if, e. g., the proxy was held responsible for choosing the spouse without further asking rather than only contracting a marriage with a given spouse.

Catholic Church

Catholic Canon Law permits marriage by proxy, but requires officiants to receive authorization from the local ordinary before proceeding. [12]

Related Research Articles

Marriage Social union or legal contract between people called spouses that creates kinship

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognised union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses, as well as between them and any resulting biological or adopted children and affinity. The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions, but also throughout the history of any given culture and religion, evolving to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but typically it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal. A marriage ceremony is known as a wedding.

Divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, is the process of terminating a marriage or marital union. Divorce usually entails the canceling or reorganizing of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the bonds of matrimony between a married couple under the rule of law of the particular country or state. Divorce laws vary considerably around the world, but in most countries divorce requires the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process, which may involve issues of distribution of property, child custody, alimony, child visitation / access, parenting time, child support, and division of debt. In most countries, monogamy is required by law, so divorce allows each former partner to marry another person; where polygyny is legal but polyandry is not, divorce allows the woman to marry another person.

Common-law marriage, also known as sui iuris marriage, informal marriage, marriage by habit and repute, or marriage in fact, is a legal framework in a limited number of jurisdictions where a couple is legally considered married, without that couple having formally registered their relation as a civil or religious marriage. The original concept of a "common-law marriage" is a marriage that is considered valid by both partners, but has not been formally recorded with a state or religious registry, or celebrated in a formal religious service. In effect, the act of the couple representing themselves to others as being married, and organizing their relation as if they were married, acts as the evidence that they are married.

Civil marriage marriage performed, recorded, and recognized by a government official

A civil marriage is a marriage performed, recorded and recognised by a government official. Such a marriage may be performed by a religious body and recognised by the state, or it may be entirely secular.

Annulment is a legal procedure within secular and religious legal systems for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost as if it had never taken place. In legal terminology, an annulment makes a void marriage or a voidable marriage null.

Matrimonial regimes, or marital property systems, are systems of property ownership between spouses providing for the creation or absence of a marital estate, and if created, what properties are included in that estate, how and by whom it is managed, and how it will be divided and inherited at the end of the marriage. Matrimonial regimes are applied either by operation of law or by way of prenuptial agreement in civil-law countries, and depend on the lex domicilii of the spouses at the time of or immediately following the wedding.. In most Common law jurisdictions, the default and only matrimonial regime is separation of property, though some U.S. states, known as community property states, are an exception. Also, in England, the birthplace of Common law, pre-nuptial agreements were until recently completely unrecognized, and although the principle of separation of property prevailed, Courts are enabled to make a series of orders upon divorce regulating the distribution of assets.

Sealing (Mormonism) Latter Day Saint ordinance

Sealing is an ordinance (ritual) performed in Latter Day Saint temples by a person holding the sealing authority. The purpose of this ordinance is to seal familial relationships, making possible the existence of family relationships throughout eternity. LDS teachings place great importance on the specific authority required to perform these sealings. Church doctrine teaches that this authority, called the Priesthood, corresponds to that given to Saint Peter in Matthew 16:19.

A marriage license is a document issued, either by a church or state authority, authorizing a couple to marry. The procedure for obtaining a license varies between countries and has changed over time. Marriage licenses began to be issued in the Middle Ages, to permit a marriage which would otherwise be illegal.

Consummation First sex act as part of a marriage or relationship

In many traditions and statutes of civil or religious law, the consummation of a marriage, often called simply consummation, is the first act of sexual intercourse between two people, either following their marriage to each other or after a prolonged romantic attraction. The definition of consummation usually refers to penile-vaginal sexual penetration, but some religious doctrines hold that there is an additional requirement that there must not be any contraception used.

Quaker weddings are the traditional ceremony of marriage within the Religious Society of Friends.

In modern society, the role of marriage and its termination through divorce have become political issues. As people live increasingly mobile lives, the conflict of laws and its choice of law rules are highly relevant to determine:

Conflict of marriage laws is the conflict of laws with respect to marriage in different jurisdictions. When marriage-related issues arise between couples with diverse backgrounds, questions as to which legal systems and norms should be applied to the relationship naturally follow with various potentially applicable systems frequently conflicting with one another.

Husband male spouse

A husband is a male in a marital relationship. The rights and obligations of a husband regarding his spouse and others, and his status in the community and in law, vary between cultures and have varied over time.

Marriage law refers to the legal requirements that determine the validity of a marriage, and which vary considerably among countries.

A putative marriage is an apparently valid marriage, entered into in good faith on the part of at least one of the partners, but that is legally invalid due to a technical impediment, such as a preexistent marriage on the part of one of the partners. Unlike someone in a common-law, statutory, or ceremonial marriage, a putative spouse is not legally married. Instead, a putative spouse believes himself or herself to be married in good faith and is given legal rights as a result of this person's reliance upon this good-faith belief.

Marriage in the United States is a legal, social, and religious institution. The legal recognition of marriage is regulated by individual states, each of which sets an "age of majority" at which individuals are free to enter into marriage solely on their own consent, as well as at what ages underage persons are able to marry with parental and/or judicial consent. Marriage laws have changed considerably during United States history, including the removal of bans on interracial marriage and same-sex marriage. In 2009, there were 2,077,000 marriages, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The median age for the first marriage has increased in recent years. The median age in the early 1970s was 23 for men and 21 for women; and it rose to 28 for men and 26 for women by 2009 and by 2017, it was 29.5 for men and 27.4 for women.

Common law marriage, also known as sui juris marriage, informal marriage, marriage by habit and repute, or marriage in fact is a form of irregular marriage that survives only in eight U.S. states and the District of Columbia; plus two other states that recognise domestic common law marriage after the fact for limited purposes. It is arguably the original form of marriage, in which a couple took up residency together, held themselves out to the world as a married couple, and otherwise behaved as a married couple. It has been gradually abolished in Western nation states since the sixteenth century, when the Council of Trent in 1563 ruled that no marriage thenceforth would be valid in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church unless it were solemnised by a priest. This ruling was quickly adopted in predominantly Roman Catholic countries, and eventually became the norm in Protestant nations as well. In 1753, the Kingdom of Great Britain passed Lord Hardwicke's Act, which provided no marriage in England and Wales was legally valid unless performed under the auspices of the Church of England, with exceptions for Jews and Quakers. The Act did not apply to Scotland or to the American colonies, and Ireland was still a separate country in 1753; so common law marriage continued in the future United States until individual states abolished it.

The topic of same-sex unions and military service concerns the government treatment or recognition of same-sex unions who may consist of at least one servicemember of a nation's military.

Same-sex immigration policy in the United States denied couples in same-sex relationships the same rights and privileges afforded different-sex couples based on several court decisions and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor on June 26, 2013.

References

  1. Apt v Apt [1948] P 83; CB (Validity of marriage: proxy marriage) [2008] UKAIT 80
  2. Christopher Clarkson and Jonathan Hill (2011). The Conflict of Laws (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 21. ISBN   9780199574711.
  3. Christenson, Sig (2010-01-01). "With this Skype, I thee wed". San Antonio Express-News. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
  4. "From Russia With Love". H Texas magazine. Archived from the original on 2006-11-01. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  5. "Proxy Marriage and US Immigration Laws - Marriage By Proxy". marriagebyproxy.com. S&B Inc. Archived from the original on October 3, 2010.
  6. Barry, Dan. "Trading Vows in Montana, No Couple Required". The New York Times . March 10, 2008.
  7. Archived April 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  8. 1 2 "Section 40-1-301". Montana Code Annotated 2015. Montana Legislative Services. Accessed on May 19, 2016.
  9. "No Marriage By Proxy in Missouri". stlouiscityrecorder.org.
  10. 1 2 "Alien's Marriage by Proxy Held to Give Alien Woman Status of "Wife"". Virginia Law Register. 10 (7): 516–520. November 1924. JSTOR   1107813.
  11. "Where You Can Have a Proxy Marriage". The Spruce. Retrieved 2019-04-29.
  12. "c. 1105", Code of Canon Law: Latin-English Edition, Washington DC 20064: Canon Law Society of America, 1983, retrieved 2012-11-14
  1. 1 2 Cafazzo, Debbie (2006-06-01). "Marriage by proxy used for ages". Tacoma News Tribune.