If you are a divorced individual, you will need to provide certain paperwork to the Court in order to prove that you are legally divorced and eligible to become married. This list applies whether you are marrying someone new or even if you are remarrying your former spouse. Here are the documents you need to provide:
- A Marriage License Application – A Marriage License is issued under state law. Each county in the state will issue the marriage license. You should obtain the license from the county in which you intend to get married. Some counties, such as Pinellas, offer an online marriage license application. You can find that application here: https://marriageapp.mypinellasclerk.org/
- A valid form of identification – Valid forms of identification include a driver’s license, state issued identification card, military identification card, or a passport. The identification must be current. Make sure your identification is valid at the time that your application is requested and will be valid at the time you are actually going to be married.
- Social Security Information – make sure you have your social security card available.
- Information regarding previous marriages – The clerk will need to know if you have been previously married.
- Number – You will also need to count which number marriage of yours this marriage will be. For example, if you have been previously married twice, this will be your third marriage. That means this marriage will be marriage number three.
- Ended – The clerk will need to know how your last marriage ended. There are three possible ways for your marriage to end: death of your spouse, a divorce, or an annulment.
- Date – The clerk will need to know on what date your last marriage ended. This should be an exact date. You can find this exact date on your former spouse’s death certificate or on your final judgment of dissolution of marriage or annulment.
- Best practice – The best thing you can do is to keep a folder of these documents in your possession. If you have been married twice before, you should have a copy of your first marriage ending, your second marriage license, and paperwork of your second marriage ending.
- Name change – If you took steps to change your name, you should also have proof of that paperwork where the Social Security Administration formally changed your name. You can request proof of your name change from Social Security by contacting them at ssa.gov.
You can never have too much paperwork, but it is important to have your documents organized. You may want to have a summary that you wrote for yourself so your dates are accurate. A chart could look something like this:
- Marriage to John Smith – December 13, 1988
- Divorce from John Smith – March 2, 2001
- Marriage to John Doe – June 6, 2008
- John Doe’s death – October 24, 2018
In this example, in addition to this summary, you should have your Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage from John Smith, your marriage license to John Doe, and John Doe’s death certificate prior to completing your marriage license application. You should also have certified copies of these documents in your files. Because these documents take a while to obtain, you should begin collecting them now. There is no harm in obtaining a certified copy of these documents. You never know when your bank may need a copy or if your employer requests a copy.
- You can obtain certified copies of marriage licenses from the Official Records department of the Clerk of Court in the county that you applied in.
- You can obtain certified copies of Final Judgments of Dissolution of Marriage or Annulments from the Clerk of Circuit Court department in the county that you were divorced/annulled in.
- You can obtain certified copies of death certificates from the Vital Records Department in the state that your spouse’s death occurred. Florida Vital Records can be found here: http://www.floridahealth.gov/certificates/certificates/death/index.html