Marriage is an important legal act that has property and personal effects for the spouses. In Brazil, marriages are registered at the civil registry office and, in the case of marriages performed abroad, such marriages may be registered in Brazil. However, it must be highlighted that such registration only has the power to reproduce, in Brazilian territory, the effects of the act performed abroad, and it cannot be amended without the document of origin also being changed.
This means that if there is a need to amend or rectify the registration of a marriage performed abroad, such amendment must be made in the place where the original registration act was signed and in accordance with the foreign laws. The reason for this is because the Brazilian court does not have the competence to grant the amendment or rectification of the marriage registration made under a different law, in other words, a law that does not belong to the legal system of Brazil.
The impossibility of amending or rectifying the marriage registration in Brazil without duly amending the original document is an issue that has been addressed in several court cases. For example, in a case judged by the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), the plaintiffs requested the amendment of the property system of a marriage performed in the United States. The STJ, in REsp 1.598.169/SP, Rep. Court of Appeals Judge Ricardo Villas Bôas Cueva, Third Panel, handed down a sentence, on 6/23/2016, DJe 6/29/2016, in which he decided that, as the marriage had been performed abroad, the marriage property system should be amended in the place where the original registration act was entered into and in accordance with the foreign law.
This STJ position is important because it demonstrates that the registration of a marriage performed in Brazil cannot be amended without the due amendment of the original document. The transcription of the marriage registration at the Brazilian civil registry office has the sole purpose of producing effects in the national territory and cannot be used as a basis for an amendment or rectification of the registration of a marriage performed abroad.
In short, the impossibility of amending or rectifying a marriage registration in Brazil without duly amending the original document is an important issue that must be observed by spouses who get married abroad and intend to have the marriage registration transcribed in Brazil. Any amendment or rectification must be made in the place where the original registration act was executed and in accordance with the foreign laws.
Therefore, it must be highlighted that, in the face of issues involving marriages performed abroad and their amendments to the property system, it is highly recommended that you seek the help of a lawyer specialized in international and family law. D Capuano will be able to guide and assist the couple with regard to the necessary procedures and legal requirements for amending the marriage registration and its registration in Brazil, thus avoiding misunderstandings, and ensuring that the rights and interests of those involved are duly protected and respected under the Brazilian law.