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Changes in the civil code concerning religious marriages

The Spanish Government has introduced a change in the Civil code regarding the official recognition of religious marriages for some religious minorities. Until now, the Civil Code only recognised the civil validity of Catholic, Muslim, Protestant and Jewish marriages. In other words, prior to this modification, only the religious marriages performed in the Catholic Church and the three religious minorities having signed a cooperation agreement with the state were recognised officially. With the legal change introduced in July 2015 the religious marriage celebrated by the minorities granted with the status of “deeply rooted religious community” (notorio arraigo) will also have civil validity. This change, done as a response to the religious diversity in the Spanish society, affects basically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Buddhism, and Orthodox Churches.

These marriages will be officially recognised if they are celebrated by a religious minister officially registered at the Ministry of Justice. Moreover, a record of matrimonial capacity will have to be submitted prior to the celebration of the marriage.

D 14 September 2015    AJulia Martínez-Ariño

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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