Affidavit of Single Status
In order to marry in Cuba (or most countries) you need to establish that you are “free to marry,” i.e. that you are single and not legally married. Bigamy and polygamy are illegal in most countries.
However, the US federal government does not keep a marriage registry and does not have an official means of indicating that an American citizen is married, divorced, widowed or never married. Individual states do not normally provide official proof of your single status either. So you have to provide proof yourself.
The good news is that most countries, including Cuba, will accept an Affidavit signed by you, witnessed, authenticated and legalized in lieu of an official record of your single status.
There is no other way to prove your single status. Even if you have a divorce certificate or a death certificate for your past spouse, you still have to swear you are single.
Getting the Affidavit of Single Status
An affidavit is a “statement of fact” made by you and sworn in front of someone who is legally allowed to witness signatures in your state (usually a notary public). In this case, you are swearing that you are never married or, if you were married, that you are legally divorced or widowed.
The affidavit can be prepared by you, or by the notary public. (There are templates online, but the notary public likely has a template they prefer.) The affidavit must state that you are single and free to marry. It must contain both a “jurat,” either an oath or an affirmation, and the venue. We strongly suggest speaking to an expert in Cuban marriage before getting your affidavit. If the affidavit is incorrect, you will have to get another one.
Finding the Notary
You must sign and date the affidavit in the presence of the notary public. The notary public will formally acknowledge that you have done this, usually by a “certificate of acknowledgement” and sometimes with a seal. Depending upon your state, the notary may come to you, or you may have to go to the notary’s office.
How to Use the Affidavit of Single Status
Once you have the certificate of acknowledgement with your affidavit, you can then get your affidavit authenticated. We strongly suggest engaging a professional to assist with the affidavit process and getting it authenticated. In our experience, affidavits created without the help of professional assistance are often not usable.
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