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Laws on Marriage in Guam

TITLE 19 GUAM CODE  - PERSONAL RELATIONS
CHAPTER 3
The Contract of Marriage

Article 1. Validity of Marriage

Article 2. Authentication of Marriage

Article 3. Judicial Determination of Void Marriages

 

Article 1. Validity of Marriage

§3101. What Constitutes Marriage.

§3102. Minors.

§3103. How Manifested and Proved.

§3104. Incompetency of Parties.

§3105. Illegal and Void Marriages.

§3106. Release, Generally.

§3107. Marriages Outside of Guam.

§3108. Woman May Take Husband's Name.

§3109. Same: Exclusive Election.

 

§3101. What Constitutes Marriage. Marriage is a personal relation arising out of a civil contract, to which the consent of parties capable of making that contract is necessary. Consent alone will not constitute marriage; it must be followed by a solemnization authorized by this Title.

            SOURCE: CC §55.

§3102. Minors. (a) Any unmarried person of the age of eighteen (18) years or upwards, and not otherwise disqualified, is capable of consenting to and consummating marriage. Provided, that any person under the age of eighteen (18) years and over the age of sixteen (16) years, with the consent in writing of their parents of the person under age, or one of such parents, or of his or her guardian, where such written consent is filed with the Director of Administration, as provided in §3202 of this Title, is capable of consenting to and consummating marriage. Provided, further that any female under the age of sixteen (16) years and over the age of fourteen (14) years, with the consent in writing of her parents or one of her parents or one of her parents, or of her guardian, where such written consent is filed with the clerk issuing the marriage license, as provided in §3202 of this Title and where, after such showing as the Superior Court may require, an order of said Superior Court is entered in the minutes of the clerk of said Court, granting permission to said female to marry, is capable of consenting to and consummating marriage.

            SOURCE: CC §56, amended by P.L. 11-144. Island Court changed to Superior Court pursuant to P.L. 12-85.

§3103. How Manifested and Proved. Consent to marriage and solemnization thereof may be proved under the same general rules of evidence as facts are proved in other cases.

            SOURCE: CC §57.

§3104. Incompetency of Parties. Marriages between parents and children, ancestors and descendants of every degree, and between brothers and sisters of the half as well as the whole blood, and between uncles and nieces or aunts and nephews, are incestuous, and void from the beginning whether the relationship is legitimate or illegitimate.

            SOURCE: CC §60.

§3105. Illegal and Void Marriages. A subsequent marriage contracted by any person during the life of a former husband or wife of such person, with any person other than such former husband or wife is illegal and void from the beginning, unless:

(a) The former marriage has been annulled or dissolved. In no case can a marriage of either of the parties during the life of the other, be valid in Guam, if contracted within one (1) year after the entry of an interlocutory decree in a proceeding for divorce.

(b) Unless such former husband or wife is absent and not known to such person to be living for the space of five (5) successive years immediately preceding such subsequent marriage, or is generally reputed or believed by such person to be dead at the time such subsequent marriage was contracted. In either of which cases, the subsequent marriage is valid until its nullity is adjudged by a competent tribunal.

            SOURCE: CC §61.

COURT DECISIONS: Petition for Naturalization of Lujan, 144 F.Supp. 150, (1956).

§3106. Release, Generally. Neither party to a contract to marry is bound by a promise made in ignorance of the other's want of personal chastity, and either is released therefrom by unchaste conduct on the part of the other unless both parties participate therein.

            SOURCE: CC §62.

§3107. Marriages Outside of Guam. All marriages contracted outside of the territory of Guam, which would be valid by the laws of the country in which the same were contracted, are valid in the territory of Guam.

            SOURCE: CC: §63.

§3108. A Woman May Elect to Retain Her Maiden Name as Her Surname Upon Marriage. Upon entering into a contract of marriage a woman may elect to retain her maiden name as her surname. Intention of the exercise of such an election shall be indicated upon the marriage license application as provided for by §3202 of this Title.

            SOURCE: CC §64. R/R by P.L. 12-112.

§3109. Same: Exclusive Election. Upon marriage, the wife is the sole member of the contracted union or subsequent family who may elect to use her maiden name as surname.

            SOURCE: CC §64.1, enacted by P.L. 12-112.

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Article 2 - Authentication of Marriage

 

§3201. Marriages, Procedure.

§3202. Marriage Licenses.

§3203. Marriage Certificate.

§3204. Who May Solemnize.

§3205. Obligatory Upon Judge, the Director of Revenue and Taxation or the Director of Administration.

§3206. Particular Form Not Necessary.

§3207. Requirements, Solemnizing.

§3208. Marriage Certificates.

§3209. Issuance of Certified Copies of Certificate and License to Parties.

§3210. Declaration Where no Record.

§3211. Acknowledged and Recorded.

§3212. Actions to Determine Validity.

 

§3201. Marriages, Procedure. Marriage must be licensed, solemnized, authenticated, and recorded as provided in this Article; but noncompliance with its provisions by others than a party to a marriage does not invalidate it.

            SOURCE: CC §68.

§3202. Marriage Licenses. (a) All persons about to be joined in marriage must first obtain a license therefor, from the Department of Revenue and Taxation, which license must show:

    (1) The identity of the parties;

    (2) Their full names, residence and place of birth;

    (3) Their date of birth;

    (4) Their citizenship;

    (5) If an alien, whether a resident alien or a non-immigrant alien;

    (6) The number of previous marriages, wherever contracted and how terminated; the occupations of the parties; the maiden name of the female, if previously married; the names and birthplaces of each; and the maiden name of the mother of each;

    (7) Whether the female elects to retain her maiden name as her surname upon marriage as provided for by §3108.

(b) No license shall be issued when either of the applicants therefor is an imbecile, insane as determined by the proper authority or who at the time of making of the application of proof required for said license, is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug. If an applicant is under the age of eighteen (18) and has not been previously married, no license shall be issued unless the consent in writing of a parent or guardian of the person under age is presented with the application. A consent must be verified and such consent shall be retained with the application in the files of the Department of Revenue and Taxation. The fact of the consent shall be noted upon the license. In addition to the consent required, no license shall be issued for any person between the age of sixteen (16) and eighteen (18) unless the marriage of that person has been approved by an order in writing issued from the Superior Court. A license to marry shall not be issued to any person under the age of sixteen (16) unless the court authorizes a license to be issued to an applicant who is under sixteen (16) and with a child. No license shall be issued permitting marriage between first cousins, between an adoptive parent and an adoptive child, between a stepparent and a stepchild or between a guardian and a ward unless a written order authorizing such a marriage has been issued by the Superior Court.

(c) Applications for a marriage license shall be made on a form prescribed by the Director of Revenue and Taxation and must be sworn to by both applicants before the Director of Revenue and Taxation or his designee. No license shall be issued until after the expiration of five (5) days after the filing of the application unless the applicants shall pay a waiver fee of Ten Dollars ($10.00). Upon paying the waiver fee, the Director of Revenue and Taxation or his designee may authorize the immediate issuance of a marriage license.

(d) For the purpose of ascertaining all facts mentioned or required in this Section, the Director of Revenue and Taxation, or his designee, may examine under oath, or require written affidavits from, the applicants for a license and as many supporting witnesses as he deems necessary. Such examination shall be reduced to writing and subscribed by all parties swearing to the facts therein. In the case of termination of a previous marriage by divorce or annulment, the applicant shall furnish a certified copy of the final decree of divorce or annulment. In the case of termination of a previous marriage by death of the spouse, the applicant shall furnish a certified copy of the record of death. If a certified copy of a final decree or divorce, annulment or record of death as required herein is not available, the applicant may submit in lieu thereof an affidavit setting forth, in such form as the Director may require, the reason why it is not obtainable.

(e) Any application for a marriage license and any allied document on file with the Director of Revenue and Taxation shall be open to public inspection.

(f) Any person who shall swear falsely to an application for a marriage license, or who shall make or present any false affidavit, statement, or testimony in any proceeding under Subsection (d), shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(g) No marriage license shall be effective nor shall it authorize the performance of a marriage ceremony after the expiration of sixty (60) days from the date of issuance of such license. This provision shall be printed on each license in prominent type.

(h) The Director of Revenue and Taxation and his designees are authorized to administer oaths in connection with the administration of this Section.

(i) A fee of Fifteen Dollars ($15.00) shall accompany each application for a marriage license and shall not be refunded if the license is not issued or used. No marriage license fees collected by the government of Guam prior to the enactment of this Subsection shall be refunded.

            SOURCE: CC §69, amended by P.L. 11-144, R/R by P.L. 13-109:1. Subsection (b) amended by P.L. 14-136:1; (c) and (i) amended by P.L. 16-47:1 and P.L. 16-73:11; (f) amended by P.L. 13-187:2.

§3203. Marriage Certificate. The marriage license shall be presented to the person performing the ceremony and shall be filed by him with the Office of Vital Statistics, Department of Public Health and Social Services, within ten (10) days after the ceremony, together with certification that the marriage has been performed.

            SOURCE: CC §69.1.

§3204. Who May Solemnize. Marriage may be solemnized by:

(a) The Governor of Guam or his substitute;

(b) The judges of the District Court, and Superior Court;

(c) All ordained clergymen and priests of whatsoever religious faith who are recognized as such by the religious body whose faith they represent.

(d) The Director of Revenue and Taxation or the Director of Administration.

(e) The Speaker of the Guam Legislature, or his designee.

            SOURCE: CC §70. Subsection (d) added by P.L. 15-113:23. Subsection (e) added by P.L. 18-14:5. Island Court changed to Superior Court and reference to Police Court deleted pursuant to P.L. 12-85.

§3205. Obligatory Upon Judge, the Director of Revenue and Taxation or the Director of Administration. The duty of solemnizing the marriage ceremony on any day shall be obligatory upon all the judges, the Director of Revenue and Taxation or the Director of Administration. The fee shall be Ten Dollars ($10.00).

            SOURCE: CC §70a amended by P.L. 15-113:24.

§3206. Particular Form Not Necessary. No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required, but the parties must declare in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage that they take each other as husband and wife.

            SOURCE: CC §71.

§3207. Requirements, Solemnizing. The person solemnizing a marriage must first require the presentation of the marriage license, and if he has any reason to doubt the correctness of its statement of facts he must first satisfy himself of its correctness, and for that purpose he may administer oaths and examine the parties and witnesses in like manner as the Director of Administration does before issuing the license.

            SOURCE: CC §72.

§3208. Marriage Certificates. The person solemnizing a marriage must make, sign, and endorse upon or attach to the license a certificate showing:

(a) The fact, time, and place of solemnization; and

(b) The names and places of residence of one or more witnesses to the ceremony.

(c) A statement of the official position of the person solemnizing the marriage, or of the denomination of which said person is a priest or minister.

            SOURCE: CC §73.

§3209. Issuance of Certified Copies of Certificate and License to Parties. The Office of Vital Statistics, after the filing of the original license and certificate, shall, upon request of and for either party and after payment of a fee of One Dollar ($1.00) for each copy, make a certified copy of license and certificate of marriage.

            SOURCE: CC §74.

§3210. Declaration Where no Record. If no record of the solemnization of a marriage heretofore contracted be known to exist, the parties may join in a written declaration of such marriage substantially showing:

(a) The names, ages, and residences of the parties.

(b) The fact of marriage.

(c) That no record of such marriage is known to exist. Such declaration must be subscribed by the parties and attested by at least three (3) witnesses.

            SOURCE: CC §76.

§3211. Acknowledged and Recorded. Declarations of marriage must be acknowledged in like manner as grants of real property and recorded in the Office of Vital Statistics.

            SOURCE: CC §77.

§3212. Actions to Determine Validity. If either party to any marriage denies the same, or refuses to join in a declaration thereof, the other may proceed, by action in the Superior Court, to have the validity of the marriage determined and declared.

            SOURCE: CC §78. Island changed to Superior Court pursuant P.L. 12-85.

Article 3 - Judicial Determination of Void Marriages

 

§3301. Void marriages.

 

§3301. Void Marriages. Either party to an incestuous or void marriage may proceed, by action in the Superior Court, to have the same so declared.

            SOURCE: CC §80. Island changed to Superior Court pursuant to P.L. 12-85.