Okay, everyone wants the story, so we have decided to tell all. Finally.....
It was always our plan to get married in Belize once we got our residency. In August, we became residents......
In early November, we phoned the Solicitor General's Office in Belmopan and asked what we needed to bring in order to apply for a marriage licence. We were told that we needed to bring some photo ID, a copy of our divorce papers and a letter from the Justice of the Peace requesting permission to marry us. I mentioned to the woman on the phone that our divorce papers were scanned in on the computers, would this be acceptable? She asked me if they had the seal of the court on them. I told her yes, she said, no problem, that would be fine. I then asked her how much the licence would cost. Her response was $200 dollars. I told her we were residents and at that point she informed me that because we were residents, it would only be $50.
The next day we hustled our butts up to Belmopan with all the papers and found the correct office, which is the Solicitor General's office, hidden in with the Attorney General's office in the Ministry of Health building. We put a big smile on our faces and showed our papers. The woman said "this is no good, we need your original divorce papers. Ummm, we don't have the originals, we were told to bring these. No, you need the originals. You will need to return to Canada and have the copies notarized and certified as true copies." We were heading out the door when she said, "Another couple had this problem, they got someone in Canada to get the papers and mail them down."
We slept on it and I went back by myself the next morning. I wanted to talk to the highest person I could find. She wasn't very happy as she is Senior Crown Counsel and is a very, very busy person. So I sat myself down in her guest chair and waited. I asked her to please explain to me exactly what we needed to bring back in order to get the marriage licence. She told me that we needed a certified copy of our divorce papers, our passports, the application form filled out and signed by a Justice of the Peace, and a letter from the JP requesting permission to marry us. I asked her who the letter should be addressed to, her response was the Solicitor General. I then asked for the correct spelling of the Solictor General's name and she went blank. She told me I would have to look it up on the internet.
I went outside and phoned my sister Deanna in Canada and had her get us a lawyer, request the papers from the courts, have them notarized and certified as true copies and Fedex the papers to us. Just over a week later, once we got all the papers together, we had the JP (Ms. Louise) sign the letter, certify the application and we headed back to Belmopan.
Back we went, and glory be, all our papers were in order. We were told to go pay $200 at the Treasury Board and come back with the receipt. I said "oh no, we are residents now and it should be only $50." I opened our passports to the back page and showed her. She took the passports and left the room, but two seconds later, she was back. "$200"... okay fine, let's just get this over with. Bob went to pay and came back with a strange look on his face. He had a receipt and in huge capital letters it said "$200 - 2 FOREIGNERS". He handed it over and we were told to come back after lunch for the signed certificate.
I should note that there was another couple applying at the same time. They were not asked to show proof of residency, no passport, no birth certificate, no letter from a JP, and they were only charged $50.
At 1:00 we were waiting and were called in and questioned regarding the Justice of the Peace. Apparently their records were not up to date as Ms. Louise, who is the Senior Justice of the Peace for Placencia and the only one certified to marry people on the peninsula, was not registered with their office. She has been marrying people on the peninsula for over ten years now and they have just realized that they had sent off her Sr JP certificate before registering it. We had to phone Ms. Louise and get a fax number so they could fax her the permission to marry us. This is something new as Ms Louise has never before had to ask permission.
So on the bus back to Placencia, the 2 FOREIGNERS decided to have just a simple wedding in Belize and spend the entire honeymoon in some other country. Bob found an awesome eight day package on the internet for Costa Rica plus return flights.
Last Saturday, we were married barefoot on the beach in front of our house at 9:00 a.m. with Ms. Louise officiating and her sister Ms. Jean and nephew Brian witnessing. We were at the airstrip by 1:30 for the first step of the honeymoon in Costa Rica.