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Marriages on Vessels; Reports and Records

There is a wide range of places were couples can choose to solemnize their marriages. While having a wedding in a church is common, couples also marry in hotels, in parks, on beaches, in homes, and in variety of other venues. Couples can even choose to get married on ships and other vessels. Regardless of where you get married, there are steps that must be followed before and after the wedding. Weddings that occur on vessels must be reported when the vessels arrive at the port. If you have questions or concerns related to your marriage or your pending marriage, contact an experienced New York family lawyer to ensure that you are in compliance with all legalities. We can help you with legal issues that develop prior to getting married and during your marriage. We can also help you with other family matters such as divorce

Marriages on vessels

Before getting married there are countless details to take care of. There are invitations to mail, attire to pick out, and menus to select. Part of the planning is to ensure that you understand all the technical legal requirements that must be taken care of before you get married and after you get married. For example, if you get married on a boat, there are special rules that you should understand.

If a marriage is solemnized on a ship, the couple must follow the preliminary step of getting a marriage license. The application involves completing a marriage license affidavit, showing identification, and paying a fee. The marriage must then be solemnized by someone authorized to do so. While getting married on a boat is permissible, ship captains are not authorized to perform marriage ceremonies in New York State. For a captain to be authorized to perform a wedding ceremony, he or she must have the authority due to also being a judge, justice of the peace, minister, or having another title that would give him or her that authority.

For vessels arriving in the port of New York, if a wedding occurs on the vessel, whoever is in control of the vessel must report to the clerk of the City of New York the marriage of any New York City resident. The report must be made within 3 days of arrival and must be made in writing. In addition, the person must also file with the clerk the transcript of the entry made in the log book of the vessel related to any such marriage.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Records to be kept by the state department of health and the city clerk of the city of New York: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 20
  2. Certified transcripts of records; state commissioner of health may furnish: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 20-a
  3. Certification of marriage; state commissioner of health may furnish: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 20-b
Domestic Relations Law, section 19-a: Marriages on vessels; reports and records

The master, chief officer, ship's surgeon, or the company, corporation, charterer, or person having the management and control of any vessel which shall arrive at the port of New York, shall report, in writing, to the city clerk of the city of New York within three days after the arrival of such vessel the marriage of any resident of such city occurring thereon at sea, and shall file with such clerk a transcript of the entry made in the log book of such vessel in respect to any such marriage

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

With over 20 years of experience representing clients facing complex legal matters, the New York family lawyers at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help you with your sensitive legal issues related to marriage, divorce, spousal support, child custody, or any other family matter. We will help you achieve your goal. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Nassau County, Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Suffolk County, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, and Westchester County.

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From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
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