QUESTION: Hello Isabelle,
I am in need of some vital information. My husband and I came to Jamaica via Carnival Cruise Line on October 29, 2008. We arrived at Montego Bay and were picked up and taken to Ocho Rios by Dolphin Cove to be married.
Now, I am wondering if it was legal at all. I am aware that the jamaican laws state there is a 24 hour waiting period, but all wedding planners say cruise ship passengers don't have to wait the 24 hours, but cannot provide me written proof where it states this in jamaican laws. Another thing is, they put we were residing in Pierview Ocho Rios St. Ann Parish which is a bald face lie. Now I am having problems receiving my Veterans Disability due to my license saying I wan't living in the states. I need to know how to void this certificate out. My husband and I have been separated since 10/4/2010 and both hope we can find this fraudulous error a reason to find this marriage was never legal. We were not even in Jamaican waters 24 hours, much less have we ever been to or lived in a place called Pierview. Please help!!!!
ANSWER: Dear Shannon,
Thank you for writing, and do hope that the following information will be useful.
May I first say that I am sorry to hear about the difficulty you are experiencing.
To also clarify your status, your Marriage is very much legal, and has been registered at our Registrar General Department. This is the normal procedure for all weddings taking place in Jamaica, in resorts, at wedding venues, and off cruise ships.
The certified copy that you may have is a true copy of your Marriage Certificate and cannot be issued by any other than the Registrar General Department (RGD). Do you have a purple copy ?
The Jamaican Marriage Certificates also do not state your american address but the location where you were either staying at or were married at, in Jamaica.
Following your wedding here in Jamaica, you should have registered your Marriage at your local Marriage Registrar, should this be the Marriage Law of the County you live at.
Should you have not done so doens't mean your Marriage is not legal. As long as it is registered here at our Registrar, your Marriage is legal. A Marriage License was also issued.
I do hope this will help you proceed, and do remain at your disposition should you have any further questions.
Wishing you to have a safe rest of day,
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: What about the 24 hr waiting period. Where in Jamaican law does it state that cruise ship passengers don't have to abide by that law? Also we were in Ochoa rios not pierview. I need to be able to provide proof in Jamaican law that we weren't subject to the 24 hour waiting period, not a wedding planner website. That is per my US attorney. He has researched all ACTS for Jamaican marriage and cannot find where we didn't have to wait. Can you provide the name if the Act or law and where we can locate it?
ANSWER: Dear Shannon,
I do apologize for the delay as I was researching information to try assist you further, as a volunteer to this board.
I have not found anything set in stones in terms of waiting period, as couples getting married off cruise ships the same day of Arrival or in Resorts the day following their Arrival have already made necessary arrangements to have someone applying for their Marriage License, so once the Marriage License has been applied for, then a wedding ceremony performed by a licensed marriage officer may take place. It is also valid for 3 months from the day from the day it has been issued.
So as long as the three provisional white marriage certificates have been signed on the wedding day and one of them sent to the Registrar General Department to 1) register your marriage and 2) obtain certified marriage certificates, then the marriage is legal.
May be Marriage Lawyers here in Jamaica may help further as far as Foreign Marriage Laws, the only requirements known to me personally is that any marriage is feasable and legal once a marriage license has been obtained / issued, and a provisional marriage certificate sent to the RGD to register the marriage.
I hope this is a little bit more helpful, and do wish you the best in your proceedings.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hi Isabelle
I spoke with the Registrar Generals Office and the Jamaican Law states that a person MUST be in Jamaica for 24 hours PRIOR to the marriage if all the proper paperwork has already been done. There is not a waiver for cruise ship passengers. They must also be in Jamaica or Jamaican waters for at least 24 hours PRIOR to the wedding. In my case we were not in Jamaica nor Jamaican waters even 12 hrs.
Also, the incorrect residence is also illegal and fraud as I never stayed at a hotel/resort. And the cruise line can verify that.
The RG'S office is now investigating Dolphin Cove and other wedding planners as this is illegal.
Thank you for your help and good luck
Thank you for updating me on your conversation with the RGD, and your research will probably help other readers.
I did know about the 24 hours waiting period, and not working with passengers of Cruise Ships myself, did not know however, and thought a Marriage License, once applied, was satisfactory to proceed. I am sorry if I misled you. I learnt something today !
Good luck to you too Shannon,