Sometimes, even when abroad, Germans and foreigners may need to have documents certified or signatures or manual signs, transcripts or copies authenticated. Local notaries and authorities are not always able to be of assistance if the document in question is required in Germany.
Foreign documents are often only recognised by the authorities of another state if their authenticity and evidentiary value have been confirmed by a special procedure. Procedures of international recognition have been developed to certify that documents were issued correctly by the competent agency.
As globalization progresses, the number of “international” marriages grows. However, it should be remembered that marriage is, first and foremost, a legally binding contract which has many consequences and that additional requirements may have to be met if the ceremony is performed abroad.
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The Federal Foreign Office and the German missions abroad (embassies and consulates-general) are often asked for help when children are abducted across borders.