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  • Writer's pictureDeby Hogue

Do we have to get married again after 43 years?

1973 in the Rose Garden at USC

Costa Rica red tape.

Before we even got here to Costa Rica, we started our residency. We didn't want to leave the country every 90 days. We thought we might not feel good, or travel takes money to go to Panama to the South or Nicaragua to the North. Either way it is a long drive or flight. So we opted for the residency so we would not have to leave Costa Rica. So needless to say we haven't been to Nicaragua or Panama. I want to go but we have not had to go. So really there is for sure some pros and cons of residency. The road will be less traveled for some. We have been in Costa Rica for 9 years now and we need to renew our residency. We do this every 2 years. But we had heard that we now need to show a new marriage certificate to renew the health care part of the residency. This means we would have to go back to California soon, and get a new marriage certificate form the hall of records and then take it to the State Dept. for a beautiful stamp. All this before next month. Really? So now Chuck and I are in San Jose 4 and 1/2 hr. drive form Nosara where we live to find out about Permanent Residency. The attorney is saying you will need to get remarried here in Costa Rica. What? After 43 years we need to do this again? So you will have a Costa Rica certificate and you will never have to renew this paper again. Right! Oh the frustration. Now I am mad and a little emotional. I said to Chuck we need to step outside for a minute. I can't believe I have tears in my eyes. Not sure why, I am mad at the Red Tape of it all and, still not sure why. I say I am for sure wearing white. Can't do it today I am not dressed. Now I feel better and we walk back in to the office and we plop down $ 1,600.00 to start the process of getting Permanent Residency. We have time to do this. I call our sons and tell them we are getting married in Costa Rica, one of them says " Mom don't rush into anything" I laugh. Now we have until December to get married and I have time to plan. We can go the, get married in the office of the attorney with two witnesses and our old marriage certificate. Or plan a beautiful wedding on the beach here with the other couples in the same predicament as us. So now I have time to find the perfect white dress for the occasion. Chuck and I in 1973

I wrote this for the WSJ expat site on FB

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