Marriage advice

Hi all,

I wonder if anyone can give me some helpful advice. I am from London, UK and my girlfriend is Colombian and we are planning on getting married in Bogota in the new year.
What is the correct way of going about this including documents required?
Has anyone been through a similar experience?

My advice is "Don't do It!"  Even though, I didn't follow my own advice.

Getting married in Colombia is a horrific experience.  So much paperwork is required, and then if you talk to one official, they will say you still need this, and the other official will say something different.  It got to the point that I told my fiancée to get on a plane and let's get married in Vegas. 

But in the end it all worked out.  So I wish you well and many years of happiness.

And get a prenuptial signed before you get married.  While some Colombian women are honest and sincere.  There are others that will drive you into the poor house.

why bother getting married when a Union Libre will suffice?

90% of Colombians dont get married. Why are us expats chomping at the bit to do it?

Also, I would go one step further. A prenup is usually not worth the paper it is written on.

Better to live in Colombia, keep your women here, and all your money overseas, unless you want to give your girl something as a "Gift which you will never get back.

Thanks, will take on board

Yes will take on board

Thanks for your best wishes

Make sure you get a Capitalization Agreement before you do, or be ready to give her 50% of everything if she leaves you the next day.

It is a Colombian Pre-Nuptial contract.  DO NOT get married without one!

If you dont have any assets in Colombia it doesnt matter.

Quechimba :

If you dont have any assets in Colombia it doesnt matter.

I thought you have to declare your entire wealth to the government when you file taxes. Can your partner's lawyer use your tax data for the divorce proceedings?

I guess anything is possible if you are stupid enough to let it happen...

If you walk around El Centro in Cali showing everyone your wallet, eventually, someone is going to rob you.

But even if she knew every penny you had, how practical would it be for her to collect from your investments, if everything was located in Boise, Idaho?

Any divorce proceedings are going to have to be based on Idaho law.

What lawyer in Idaho is going to take that case, assuming the wife and her lawyer were willing to spend thousands of dollars  to find an appropriate lawyer  willing to work on commission? And chances are she may get squat out of it.

Really about as practical as a  hotentot bushman stowing away in the landing gear of a New York bound 747.

Has happened theoretically possible, but extremely unlikely.

Another Colombian Urban Legend..

I understand. They may not have enough resources to go after your oversea investments. I think Colombian nationals can use the same rationale to hide money from their spouses. They can deposit a great part of their asset in foreign banks. If they get divorce they will only share the local asset.

If you are married in Idaho, you have assets in Colombia, your spouse's lawyer will go after if it is worth the pain.

I noticed your question and thought I'd put in my two cents:

From what I've read in several excellent articles in, it doesn't seem that hard to get married here. As I understand it, the TP10 visa covers both real marriages and 'conjugal living' situations (AKA Shacking Up).

I sorta agree with what the other responder said about 'why bother to get married....' and he recommended the 'civil union' arrangement (that's another name for it. But...

It might make a status difference to the woman. Women have a right to expect a commitment from a guy when they marry him. They're giving up something valuable too, you know and they don't recycle as easily as a guy.

Only you would know that. Personally, I think it's better to show some respect for the woman and marry her. You can still get a pre-nuptial agreement if you want to protect yourself from those kind of contingencies. Maybe even get one in Colombia and in the US just to cover your ass in both jurisdictions.

Those MedellinLiving articles are really pretty good and one of them was written by a legal type who lives in Medellin and works in those kinds of situations.

I must also agree wholeheartedly with the advice about, ´don't take them to the US'. I've seen the bright lights of the US ruin marriages from S.Vietnam and the Philippines and I'm sure it can here. It all depends on the ladies' character but there's reason for you to tempt her, and fate, too much.

Please let me know what you decide to do. I'll be crossing that bridge in a few weeks probably (if not sooner).

Good luck,

I have been reading that their is a 20-40 percent support that can be levied if things don't work out. I am dating a registered nurse and plan on getting married in a few weeks. She just quit her job so I am now supporting her.  I have significant income and am retired. I have not made up my mind about a visa the divorce rate here in the US is off the charts. Looks like a Colombian prenup is a wise choice or is it worth the paper it is written on? I am thinking of living in Colombia part time. Maybe better to just take some time and be really sure.

Don't knock the divorce. In Colombia it would be higher if they married but the majority do not. You do not need to marry to get a Visa, only live together and go to a notary and you get the Visa. They also have a concubine law where if you are dating and supporting them for 2 years?? not sure, but they can come after you for support. Best bet is be sure. I have met some fantastic ladies there and more players. Needless to say, buyer beware.

Thank you so much I appreciate.


I've researched this because I am going to marry a Colombian girl.

Being a foreigner trying to marry a Colombian in Colombia is a paperwork nightmare. So, what I've discovered is that going to Guatemala is easier. Like going to Vegas. You both show up with your passports and some guy marries you.

Then you fly to Bogota and get your papers. This part is supposed to be super easy after you are married. You get your cedula the same day.

I was with my Colombian girlfriend in Ecuador two months ago and they wouldn't let us get married there. We didn't have the right visas, and we weren't there for more than 75 days. And Ecuador is much easier to get married than Colombia.

The Colombians want a document that doesn't exist in the USA. A document from the government stating that you have never been married. So you need sworn statements from people that know you well stating you have never been married, and those have to be translated into Spanish by a certified Spanish translator, and then you have to ask your State's Department of State to apostille it which I still don't even know what that means. We notarize things here but they want it apostilled. All of your birth certificates and passport, etc also have to go through the same process. And all of that crap cost money.

So go to Guatemala or Las Vegas.

Or Trinidad and Tobago.

Multiple other places.

Better yet just ay"no"

I am presuming that by now you have married, but I think a lot of the comments are really sad, like you I am a Brit, but I was living in Spain, when I decided to move here and get married. If your Girlfriend is in Colombia, then ask her to find a Notary prepared to marry you, not all will, then ask him (or her) what documents are required, because they have the final say. I was given a list of documents, I didn't need the certificate of being single, he said I had divorce certificates and that was sufficient. The hard part is the timing, because all the documents have to be sources, apostilled, legalised, and officially translated within 3 months of the date of the ceremony, and the Notary has to be satisfied they are correct. I was fortunate, in that our Notary said he was happy if I emailed copies them over to my then Fiancee, she then took them for him to confirm they were all in order, then I brought them over with me, and took the originals to him before the big day!
To be honest other than the time restraints, I found the whole process less stressful than arranging my previous two marriages in the UK.

A guy on his third marriage saying comments are a "bit sad"..thats really  rich...jaja

There is looking at it things as if there is a glass half full..and then there is whistfully walking around with blinders on...

You have to look on the bright side!

I dont think any women deserves even a quarter of your assets, and espescially not your emociones and love, if she is gonna foch you around.

Better to protect yourself physically and emotionally

If you find one that is by your side when you are in the poor house and /or on your death bed great.

You can always tell from their previous history if there is a remote chance of them being "good " women.

Guys that go to Colombia fall in love (or lust, or get "smitten" are better words) and jump into marriage.

If she isnt gonna be with you when you are on your death bed (without her hands in your pocket) then why marry her?

You cant determine this by meeting someone on internet and then spending a couple weeks together, and then marrying.

Speak for yourself, as you said, I had two previous marriages to women I thought I knew back in the UK, for various reasons they failed, one after seven years, the second after twenty one years. and they managed to walk away with most of my cash, there were no prenups in the UK at the time!
I met my now wife online we talked for three months, then I came here, we clicked, and soon after were married, six years later we are still very happy. I agree that is very much the luck of the draw, but so is life, you can't rule anything out.


Based on your past experiences, it is too early to claim victory.

After two failed marriages, why is it so important to continue to get married? I don't think sex with a younger woman is good enough a reason to get into that dreadful marriage contract. Just being friends would have been financially and emotionally better.

Antes que te cases, mira lo que haces...

Casarse está bien, no casarse está mejor.

El amor es una locura que solo el cura lo cura y cuando el cura lo cura comete una gran locura.

Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

Lest you think I am against marriage - I think marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?

akabo it's a shame ...Since you don't know me or my wife you are in no position to make any judgement.


I am not judging, I am just asking why?

The definition of insanity, is, doing the exact same thing over and over again, expecting *** to change. That. Is. Crazy.

Moderated by Bhavna 11 months ago
Reason : Please don't use foul words
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

akabo, I have to say I found your previous post insulting, whether it was meant to be or not. I am from a generation where marriage is considered an Institution, and shows commitment. Yes it has cost me, but I don't regret that. Marriage is more than sex, and I object to the implication that it is otherwise, to be old fashioned, I personally don't believe in 'Living in Sin',  good luck to those that do, but they should also respect my view.

PhilCo58 :

akabo, I have to say I found your previous post insulting, whether it was meant to be or not. I am from a generation where marriage is considered an Institution, and shows commitment. Yes it has cost me, but I don't regret that.

I agree, the comment was insulting and IMO meant to be so.  Now the Home Office will review and moderate.

Phil has every right to remarry .. and on the forums of .. he can expect to express his experience and views without being cursed at.

Rock on, Phil. :top:

cccmedia in Depto de Nariño

I'm with Phil and CCC all the way on this one.  Akabo should stfu.

Getting married/civil union in Colombia is beyond a nightmare.  The non Colombian needs a birth certificate not older than 90 days.  The Colombian needs a birth certificate not older than 30 days.  I found the Colombians like the single status form from the US Embassy in Bogota.  The embassy charges $50 for this form; it's a sworn affidavit stating you are single.  But wait.. there is still more..ALL the Notarias in Bogota are not giving an inch to documents they feel are not legitimate.  For example, if your passport foto looks different than your present condition.  Clean shaven on passport vs beard now.  Birth certificate which has multiple signatures seems to confuse the Notarias.  My birth certificate from Detroit has multiple signatures, nurse, doctor,city official and county clerk..  Oh and all English documents must get translated first into Spanish.  Next, for marriage, the Notarias in Bogota are holding marriage applications for 30 days until the ceremony.  So that means you need very fresh documents as this 30 day holding period is not included in the 90 day period. My advice,.. get married in Vegas, Florida or some other place or spend money on an attorney in Colombia and possibly the US for documents the Notarias keep asking for.  Then once you get past the Notaria you need to visit the Cancilleria for you visa... more questions... finally you need to visit the Migracion office for your cedula... The Colombians have cracked down hard on foreigners getting visa.. unless you have lots of time and money it will break you...

Hey kully

Another option?
Fly to the Colombian Island of San Andres (the Las Vegas of Colombia). Make sure you have your passport. Make sure your Colombian girlfriend has her cedula and birth certificate. Get married. Relax. Enjoy the beach for a few days.

Check it out on the net. I'm sure you can follow a lot of the other good advice given here also. Just try sorting, blend all the good stuff together and go for it.

CanadaDoug :

Another option?
Fly to the Colombian Island of San Andres (the Las Vegas of Colombia). Make sure you have your passport. Make sure your Colombian girlfriend has her cedula. Get married. Relax. Enjoy the beach for a few days.

Don't think so, you are right, it used to be the case that you could do this, but unless they have recently reversed the law, this was stopped years ago.

For a civil marriage in San Andrés here are the requirements according to the Notary:

http://www.notariaunicasanandres-sanand … onio-civil

It is just what me and my Colombian woman are planning. But can you recommend some really good Notaria for us? We have lived together one year and two months, not yet 2 years.

I need this Civil Union as base of my visa application.

I will get a combined certificate of Finnish Register Office in Spanish and apostilled, showing my Birth Certificate and the Death of my Finnish wife 2014.

Is that enough to prove that I am solteiro?

tjussi42 I was in Bello when I wanted to get married, we used Notaria 5 in Medellin, I understand that the Notary himself has retired, and been replaced, but the Staff are still the same, they were very pro Foreigners, and you need to talk with them, for me at the time (six years ago) the Notary didn't want a Certificate to prove I was single, he was happy with my divorce certificate alone, so you may be OK with the certificate you have coming. Every Notary has their own requirements, and many are anti-Foreigner, so the only way is to make an approach and see if first they will help, and secondly what certificates they will need.

Dear T. Jussi,

Welcome to the Colombia forums of ...

I'd visit the office that will have to approve your marital paperwork.  Make sure you find out what they require.

The fact that you have a death certificate from four years ago does not prove you have not married since.

It may turn out that you need to provide a written, certified, translated declaration stating that you are single.


PhilCo58 :

Every Notary has their own requirements, and many are anti-Foreigner, so the only way is to make an approach and see if first they will help....

Hi Phil.

What's this all about, many notaries are anti-foreigner?


cccmedia :
PhilCo58 :

Every Notary has their own requirements, and many are anti-Foreigner, so the only way is to make an approach and see if first they will help....

Hi Phil.

What's this all about, many notaries are anti-foreigner?


When my Wife was trying to arrange a Notary for our marriage, three, including the two in Bello, refused, because they said they would not marry a foreigner to a Colombian.

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