When two people are in love, they’ll find a way to be together no matter what. That’s why proxy marriages are so popular among military couples. If you’re thinking of getting married to your partner who is in the military, here’s everything you need to know about proxy marriage military.
What Is Marriage By Proxy?
According to Boyd Law Firm, which specializes in marriage and family law among other things, proxy marriage is a wedding ceremony conducted without the presence of both parties. Instead, someone else stands in for the person who is unable to attend in person and may even recite their vows.
If you are geographically separated owing to military orders, immigration issues, incarceration, or other general travel constraints, you may want to think about a proxy marriage.
What Is a Double Proxy Marriage?
In a double proxy wedding, both parties are unable to be present in person to exchange vows, exactly like in a regular proxy wedding. In this instance, only the officiant or other person who is legally qualified to officiate marriage ceremonies needs to be present.
However, only Montana has legalized double proxy unions. Single proxy unions are more prevalent.
How a Marriage by Proxy Works
Marriage by proxy enables couples to exchange vows without a ceremony right away.
Each state has its own laws and rules regarding marriage by proxy. One person often needed to be present in order to get married via proxy. The party that is unable to attend the vow exchange can have a stand-in.
The ceremony can be attended by the absent party through video teleconference. Traditional wedding ceremonies can be held with guests present, or a couple might choose a smaller ceremony that will be followed by a bigger party once they are reunited. Unless the spouse is a part of the military, these unions are uncommon if they both reside in the United States.
Is Marriage by Proxy Legal in the US?
Despite the fact that marriage via proxy is lawful in five states, family lawyer Miles Goldrick warns that not all jurisdictions will recognize your union. Nevertheless, he said, some states that don’t recognize proxy unions as legal unions might do so as common-law unions.
Your proxy marriage is nonetheless valid and enforceable in the state where it was consummated. It is equivalent to exchanging vows in person.
There are seven states that allow marriages by proxy, and each has specific standards that must be met before the ceremony may take place.
States That Allow Marriage By Proxy. These are a few of the variations between what each state enables:
- California: The state allows military personnel stationed abroad or in combat areas to have a single proxy marriage. The power of attorney for the service member is required for the stand-in.
- Colorado: New Colorado statutes allow for a single proxy marriage when one party is incarcerated or out-of-state. Additionally, one person must reside in Colorado. There are no double proxy weddings in Colorado.
- Kansas: The state’s judicial branch has determined that single proxy weddings are legal.
- Montana: According to Montana state law, single and double proxy weddings are accepted and permitted in Montana. A Montana resident or a member of the US military must be one of the partners in order to have a double proxy marriage. Regardless matter where they live, military personnel can get married twice in Montana.
The New Jersey Revised Statutes provide that single proxy marriages are permitted for service members.
- Texas: Chapter two of the Texas Family Code permits single proxy marriages.
- Utah: The Utah County Clerk’s Office states that there is no residency requirement for virtual marriages.
Even the smallest things will vary between counties. Therefore, the best way to learn more about the rules for proxy marriages is to speak with your local government.
Do Military Personnel Accept Proxy Marriages?
Military service members who want to wed while on deployment or otherwise separated by distance can do so through a proxy marriage. The American military accepts proxy unions as valid, binding unions.
When a military person marries by proxy, the same regulations that apply to conventional marriages also apply. For instance, the Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits relationships between enlisted military personnel and officers.
The completion of basic training may be a requirement in states that permit military proxy marriages. Additionally, they might need evidence that the service member and his or her partner are in a committed relationship even though they are separated by distance at the time of the ceremony.
Rules and Limitations for Proxy Marriage
For geographically separated military couples, marriage by proxy can make a wedding possible, but there are some guidelines and restrictions. The laws of the country where the marriage will take place must be followed by the couple.
According to federal law, a marriage by proxy that is only performed for immigration purposes is invalid.
Any marriage that breaks local, state, or federal laws, including polygamy, underage or incestuous unions, is not made lawful by a proxy union.
Couples must legally marry by proxy in order for the federal and state governments to recognize them. Affidavits, airline tickets, hotel bills, or other documents proving the couple was present at the same place and time can be used by couples to prove consummation. (It needn’t become much more explicit than that.)
Why Military Members Opt for Marriage by Proxy?
If you get married by proxy while you’re deployed, your spouse and family will be eligible for things like Tricare insurance, housing, subsidized daycare, SGLI payments, and other survivor benefits if you pass away while serving your country. Additionally, married service members earn larger housing allowances and separation pay than unmarried ones, and geographically separated dual-military couples who marry can be posted to the same base.
How To Get A Proxy Marriage
There are a few things you must take in order to become a proxy bride or groom.
You must first submit a marriage license application. Your birth certificate and social security number are required. Additionally, there may be a processing charge.
State-specific additional criteria may apply, but proxy marriage applications typically call for more paperwork than regular marriages.
What You Need to Do to Get Ready for an Alimony by Proxy
According to Boyd Law Firm and proxy wedding provider Marriage by Proxy, the following is required in order to receive a proxy marriage license.
- Birth Certificate
- Social Security number
- Information about the parents of the bride and the groom
According to Boyd Law Firm, you’ll need the following records to prove your marriage after the ceremony.
- Affidavits or personal declarations from the couple attesting to the consummation of their marriage
- Hotel bookings or airline tickets
Each of these demonstrates the validity of the connection and the fact that the pair is together.
Once your application has been accepted, you can arrange for an officiant in a state where proxy weddings are permitted to officiate your proxy marriage ceremony. While their stand-in exchanges vows, the absent partner can attend the ceremony through video call.
Where to Get a Proxy Marriage
In any state that permits them, you can locate proxy marriage services or discuss your choices with a family law practitioner.
As was previously said, a single proxy marriage requires an in-person officiant. To conduct the service, your officiant needs to hold a valid state license.
According to American Marriage Ministries, however, since the Covid-19 pandemic began, more people are getting married virtually. In states that permit double or virtual proxy marriages, licensed officiants can conduct ceremonies via video call.
How Much Does A Proxy Marriage Cost?
A simple military proxy marriage online service reveals costs of between $600 and $1,000, including postage and legal fees.
Most double proxy marriage arrangements offered online cost about $700.
When are Marriages by Proxy Invalid?
Immigration-related proxy marriages won’t be recognized. Additionally, the law of the jurisdiction in which the marriage takes place determines whether any other type of marriage, such as a same-sex union, is valid. Some unions that WILL CERTAINLY NOT be acknowledged are:
- Polygamous relationships
- Marriages that are against the law (ie. underage marriages, incestuous marriages)
- Unconsummated proxy marriages
Are Proxy Marriages Recognized by US Immigration?
Proxy weddings are legal as long as the union is followed by consummation. Premarital sex is not considered. You can support this with an affidavit or written confirmation statement signed by both of you.
Are Military Proxy Marriages Legal Outside the U.S?
Outside of the US, military proxy marriages are also common. Germany and the Gambia (under sharia law) both permit it. In contrast, most other nations forbid it.
Will Proxy Marriage Ever Be Accepted Legally?
There have been questions over whether other nations and US states should permit proxy marriages in light of the pandemic’s continuation. However, as of the time this piece was being written, there have been no firm remarks made about this issue.
How Long Does the Process of a Proxy Marriage Take?
According to SimpleProxyMarriage.com, the time it takes to obtain a marriage license and complete the proxy marriage procedure is one to two weeks. Although it could cost more, hiring a lawyer might be able to speed things along.
That concludes our discussion of military proxy weddings. If you’re planning to wed in this manner, congratulations! We hope that this information was helpful to you as you considered what would be best for you and your partner. Once everything is set up and finished, kindly share your thoughts in the comments section on how it went! Any extra questions you may have might be left below.