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Can I Get Married?

Can I get married?

The answer is maybe! In order to get married, the simple wish to be together with someone else is not enough.

Article 1521 of the Brazilian Civil Code lists certain restrictions for getting married. For example, ascendants may not marry their descendants; siblings are not allowed to marry each other; and people who are currently married cannot get married again.

In this article, we will discuss the legal restrictions placed on those who are already married. Some will say that it is obvious that married people are not allowed to get married again. Yet it is not that obvious…

Many people do not know that a marriage celebrated abroad is valid in Brazil, even if it is not registered here. Therefore, a Brazilian citizen married abroad (to a Brazilian or to a foreigner) has the marital status of “married” and cannot get married to anybody else until they get a divorce.

It is important to emphasize that those who declare their marital status as “single” while actually being married are committing the crime of ideological falsehood (i.e., making a false representation). Similarly, those who get married in Brazil while being married abroad are committing the crime of bigamy.

But that is not all. Without a divorce, the second marriage will be considered null. That is to say that the marriage will not be valid.

So, to avoid committing a crime and invalidating the marriage, a divorce must precede the new marriage.

It is also important to note that the divorce can occur in Brazil or abroad. The foreign divorce decree must be brought to the Brazilian authorities, and if it involves children (alimony, custody, or visitation rights) or the division of assets, the divorce must be recognized by the Brazilian Superior Court.

Angelico Advogados has a team of legal professionals that specialize in the subject matter of this article.