Types Of Marriage Certificates Availiable (public Versus Confidential)

In California where I live, there are different types of marriage certificates. There is the usual public marriage certificate, where your marriage is a part of the public record.

In California, they also have a Confidential Marriage Certificate. The confidential marriage certificate is not part of the public record.

This law probably originated because of all the rotisserie marriages between Hollywood movie stars that they wanted to keep confidential, if such a thing is possible in Hollywood.

Way back, someone influential probably sponsored a state legislator in passing that legislation.

In California, you cannot get a copy of a confidential marriage license without both marriage partners applying for a certified copy in person at the county clerk’s office together at the same time.

This is one alternative if you are afraid of having Aunt Martha find out that you married ‘that Russian girl.’

Some men I know who have married Russian wives have done so under confidential marriages. I guess they did this in case that the marriage didn’t work out, there would be no public record of it.

However, a confidential marriage does not relieve you of any legal responsibilities under the marriage laws of your state. Even if you are not legally married, if you ‘hold yourself out as married,’ what is commonly referred to as a ‘common law marriage,’ you may be considered married under the law.

I’m not an attorney and I don’t play one on TV. I’m not giving any legal advice and I don’t want to offer any, however, I want you to know that there is the possibility of keeping your marriage ‘confidential’ legally if you so desire.

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