Author - paulsullivan

What is a Proxy Marriage?

A proxy marriage is a marriage where one or both of the parties are represented by someone else, standing in for him or her. This stand-in is known as a proxy. Why would you need a proxy marriage? Simple. If one or both of you can’t attend the wedding ceremony but still want to be married.

While it probably goes back further, most modern proxy marriage laws in the US date back to World War II. Because of the draft, young men were being sent over seas with a great deal of uncertainty as to when (or if) they would return. It was impossible for them to get married because it was impossible for both of the future-spouses to be together in one place. So, a number of states passed proxy marriage laws that allowed another person to stand-in for the deployed service member. This way, the couple was still able to marry.

Fast forward to today, and most states have done away with their proxy marriage laws. In fact, Montana is the only state in the Union to still allow for double proxy marriage. If one person getting married is an active-duty member of the US armed forces, Montana will issue a marriage license and allow a marriage ceremony even though neither party to the marriage is actually there. In a case like that, both people are represented by a proxy. This applies to same-sex marriage as well.

Many couples who have a proxy marriage, also have a more traditional wedding ceremony once they are able to get together with their friends and family. Having a proxy marriage doesn’t stop you from still having the wedding of your dreams later. But it allows you to be married much sooner. For a loving couple separated by thousands of miles, this can make a huge difference. It can also allow for the spouse to come live on base with the military member. This means that the couple can live together sooner, and avoid the cost of two residences.

If you’re interested in a proxy marriage, we recommend Armed Forces Proxy Marriages. You can find them online at http://www.armedforcesproxymarriages.com or you can call them directly at 406-249-2095. They answer emails and phone calls 24 hours a day and are absolute experts at what they do. If you have any questions, Ben can get you an answer and help you get a proxy marriage quicker than any other company out there.

By using Montana’s unique law, you can be married anywhere in the world. No matter where you are and no matter where your partner is, you can get a proxy marriage performed and registered with the state of Montana within a few weeks. And, because of the full faith and credit clause of the U.S. Constitution, your marriage will be recognized anywhere in the United States. 

Unfortunately, not all marriages work out. The most commonly cited statistic says that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Unsurprisingly, it’s probably not that simple. But, any way you slice it a lot of marriages need to be dissolved. For people married in a Montana Proxy Marriage, that’s where we come in. We specialize in providing divorces for couples joined by this unique process. You have special considerations and special requirements, and we recognize that. If you’re interested in a proxy divorce and wondering if you qualify, click here to complete our free no-obligation questionnaire

Online Annulment

Sometimes marriages don’t get a happy ending, even proxy marriages. If you were married by proxy through a Montana double proxy marriage you may qualify for an annulment through Proxy Divorce. 

How is an annulment different than a divorce? A divorce is an end to a marriage, an annulment is an eraser that makes it like the marriage never happened. If your proxy marriage ends in divorce, you’re just like half the marriages out there. But, if you’re able to get an annulment the judge’s order goes back in time and undoes the marriage before it even started. Legally, it makes it like the marriage never happened at all. 

By using this system, we are able to offer proxy annulments to anyone who was married in a Montana double proxy marriage and now wants to end it. No matter where you are we can dissolve your marriage, no travel required. Based on the information you provide, we will draft your legal paperwork and email it to you. You’ll need to print it out, sign it in front of a notary, and then mail the original to us for filing with the Court. In some cases you may need to call the Court for a brief hearing before your annulment is finalized. But that’s it. 

The legal process is technically called a declaration of invalidity of marriage. But it’s the same thing as an annulment, the name that is more common. The benefits of this are obvious. Instead of being divorced, your legal status is never married. Also, no matter where you are you can go through this process without travel. For active duty members of the Armed Forces, it’s a must. 

But, there are additional legal requirements you have to meet. The best way to find out if you qualify is to fill out our questionnaire by clicking on this link. Filling out the form is totally free and there’s no obligation. One of our attorneys will review your application and get back to you right away with an assessment of your case and any additional questions or information we need. 

Rest assured though, even though a proxy annulment is different than a divorce, it still accomplishes the same things. If the two of you share debt, the declaration of invalidity of marriage (the legal document the judge signs at the end of the process) can divide that debt between the two of you. 

The same thing applies to property that the two of you have acquired during you marriage. In a traditional divorce, a major step is dividing the assets. An important thing to remember is that a Proxy Annulment is only available when the two of you agree. So while the end result can be an order dividing your property, it is necessary that you two agree on how to split things up. 

We aren’t able to represent spouses who don’t agree on all the terms. But if you do, and if you qualify, then a proxy annulment can divide your assets in the same way as any other divorce. 

Want to find out if a Proxy Annulment is an option for you? Click here to fill out our online questionnaire and one of our attorneys will get back to you shortly.

The Law Behind a Proxy Divorce

What we call a proxy divorce is actually a legal process called a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage. Montana uses this name to describe what its version of an annulment. Basically, this is a legal process to undo your marriage and make it like it never happens. When a judge grants a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage, the Court reaches back in time and voids the marriage before it even starts. It is, legally speaking, like it never happened.

You can find the law that authorizes this in the Montana Code Annotated at Section 40-1-402. Click here to read the law. The statute breaks down into six parts. Part 1 describes the scenarios where a married couple would qualify for a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage. Part 2 defines how long a couple has from the time they are married until they have to file for a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage. Part 3 is specific to bigamous marriages. Part 4 legally establishes that children born of a marriage declared invalid are still legitimate. Part 5 grants the Court the ability to make the Declaration of Invalidity retroactive – this is the part of the law that lets the Court go back in time and undo the marriage from the very start. And finally, Part 6 tells the clerk of the court who to give notice to when a marriage is declared invalid.

If you are considering a proxy divorce (which is really a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage) Parts 1 and 2 are probably the most interesting to you. They tell you when you qualify for an annulment, and how long you have to file for an annulment.

(1) The district court shall enter its decree declaring the invalidity of a marriage entered into under the following circumstances:

(a) a party lacked capacity to consent to the marriage at the time that the marriage was entered into, either because of mental incapacity or infirmity or because of the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other incapacitating substances, or a party was induced to enter into a marriage by force or duress or by fraud involving the essentials of marriage;

(b) a party lacks the physical capacity to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse, and at the time that the marriage was entered into, the other party did not know of the incapacity;

(c) a party was under 16 years of age or was 16 or 17 years of age and did not have the consent of the party’s parents or guardian or judicial approval; or

(d) the marriage is prohibited.

If you qualify for a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage, the case must be filed within certain timelines. Those timelines are:

(a) for lack of capacity to consent because of mental incapacity or infirmity, no later than 1 year after the petitioner obtained knowledge of the described condition;

(b) for lack of capacity to consent because of the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other incapacitating substances, no later than 1 year after the petitioner obtained knowledge of the described condition;

(c) for lack of capacity to consent because of force, duress, or fraud, no later than 2 years after the petitioner obtained knowledge of the described condition;

(d) for the reason set forth in subsection (1)(b), by either party, no later than 4 years after the petitioner obtained knowledge of the described condition;

(e) for the reason set forth in subsection (1)(c), by the underaged party or the party’s parent or guardian, before the time that the underaged party reaches the age at which the party could have married without satisfying the omitted requirement.

One caveat here is that regardless of whether you meet the timeline, both spouses must be alive at the time of filing. If either spouse has passed away, the Court cannot grant a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage.

If you’re interested to know whether you qualify for a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage under Montana law, the best way to find out is to fill out our online questionnaire. Click here for the questionnaire. Once you complete it, your information will be reviewed by one of our attorneys who will get in touch soon.

Time Limits on Filing a Proxy Divorce

Montana law creates the legal framework for a proxy divorce. The law is technically called a declaration of invalidity of marriage. First, you must meet certain criteria to qualify for a proxy divorce. Second, you must file within a certain period of time. If you’re wondering whether you qualify, the best way to find out is to fill out our online questionnaire which will then be reviewed by one of our lawyers who will get in touch to discuss your situation. Click here to fill out the online questionnaire.

Depending on the reason you qualify for a proxy divorce, you have different amounts of time in which to file.

If you are seeking a declaration of invalidity because of lack of capacity to consent because of mental incapacity or infirmity, you must file no later than 1 year after you learned of the described condition;

If you are seeking a declaration of invalidity because of lack of capacity to consent because of the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other incapacitating substances, you must file no later than 1 year after you learned of the described condition;

If you are seeking a declaration of invalidity because of lack of capacity to consent because of force, duress, or fraud, you must file no later than 2 years after you learned of the described condition;

If you are seeking a declaration of invalidity because of an inability to engage in sexual intercourse by either party, you must file no later than 4 years after you learned of the described condition;

If you are seeking a declaration of invalidity because a party was under 16 years of age or was 16 or 17 years of age and did not have the consent of the party’s parents or guardian or judicial approval, the case may be brought by the underaged party or the party’s parent or guardian, and must be filed before the time that the underaged party reaches the age at which the party could have married without satisfying the omitted requirement.

These are very important deadlines and must be followed closely. If you don’t meet the requirements of the deadline, the Court does not have the authority to grant you a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage (also known as an annulment or a proxy divorce).

If you do meet these requirements, remember that a declaration of invalidity of marriage is retroactive and reaches back in time to undo the marriage before it even starts. A normal divorce ends your marriage at a later time, meaning that legally you were married for a period of time. With a declaration of invalidity of marriage, you were never legally married. The judge’s order goes back in time and cancels the marriage before it even started.

If you want to know whether you qualify for a proxy divorce with a declaration of invalidity of marriage, fill out our online questionnaire and one of our attorneys will review it and be in touch to discuss your options with you. There is no obligation, and filling out the questionnaire is completely free. Click here to start your questionnaire now.

No Travel Divorce

You can’t always get divorced where you are. In most courts, getting a divorce means needing to travel (sometimes half way around the world) to legally end your marriage. Proxy divorce offers a completely legal, no travel divorce. Most of our customers are living or stationed abroad and unable to get a divorce in that location.

Foreign divorces can be confusing, expensive, and slow. More importantly, depending on your status in your host country – they may be impossible. At that point the question becomes whether there is a court back home that can and will hear your divorce, and do it without requiring you to travel there. Too often, the answer to that is “no.”

That’s where proxy divorce comes in. No matter where you are, and no matter where your spouse is, we can help you obtain a legal divorce without needing to travel anywhere. We understand the complications of living in a foreign country and do everything we can to make the process quick and easy. We also understand the difficulties of time zone differences and international mail so we make the process work for you.

Some areas offer a divorce if you come stay there for a week. While a tropical vacation always sounds nice, it usually isn’t practical or affordable combined with a divorce. With a proxy divorce, you can legally end your marriage wherever you are – and then save your vacation for somewhere you actually want to go.

Want to start your no travel divorce today? Or maybe you still have some questions. Either way, click here to contact us now.

Proxy Marriage Divorce

Proxy Divorce started as a solution for those married by proxy who needed a divorce. We now serve anyone needing a convenient divorce from anywhere in the world, but we haven’t forgotten our roots.

The benefits of a proxy marriage are very similar to the benefits of a proxy divorce. When a marriage comes to an end, you shouldn’t have to wait until you’re living somewhere convenient to get a divorce. With a proxy divorce, no matter where you are and no matter where your spouse is, you can be divorced quickly and easily. Just because you’re stationed or working overseas, you shouldn’t be denied access to the courts to obtain a divorce.

Based in Montana, we are the only divorce option specifically for couples who were married by proxy. We understand the problems that spouses living around the world can cause. Proxy Divorce is designed to help divorcing couples in exactly this situation. Processing paperwork in North America with one spouse in Europe and one in Asia presents problems that most courts aren’t set up to deal with. But with our experience, we are and effective and efficient middleman.

To start your divorce, click here and fill out the information on that page. You’ll then receive an email with a questionnaire about you, your spouse, and your marriage. Send that back and we will prepare your legal paperwork for signature and notarization. You and your spouse mail the originals to our law office, and we file the necessary paperwork and schedule a hearing on your divorce. Although there is absolutely no travel required, one of you will need to be able to call the courthouse on the day of your divorce hearing and answer a few questions for the judge. After the hearing we will obtain certified copies of the divorce decree and email and mail those to you.

The full cost of a proxy divorce is $1,499. This includes all filing costs, attorneys fees, and administrative expenses. You can pay the entire amount up front or use our convenient payment plan. We require a $500 deposit before your legal paperwork is drafted and sent to you and your spouse. After that, the remaining payment only needs to be made before the final paperwork is sent to the court.

In the end, you can obtain a convenient divorce from your proxy marriage without travel or delay. If you have questions, we’re here to help. If you’re ready to get started, we can assist now.