TN 29 (05-01)
GN 00305.090 Indian Tribal or Custom Marriage
POLICY — INDIAN TRIBAL OR CUSTOM MARRIAGE
The requisite status as a spouse under State law may exist as a result of an Indian tribal or custom marriage. Such marriages are recognized as valid under the laws of the various States if:
There was a tribal government to which the parties were subject at the time of the marriage; and
The parties at the time of the marriage had been following the tribal customs and laws; and
The marriage was in accordance with the tribal customs and laws.
Indian tribal rolls, in the custody of a tribal council or agent, may constitute the only extant record of a tribal ceremony. However, Navajo Indians are issued a tribal marriage certificate for marriages after 2/11/54; secure this certificate if such marriage is alleged. This is also true of a tribal marriage for members of any other tribe which is known to have, by resolution or otherwise, provided for licensing and ceremonial requirements.
The evidence must establish that the applicable requirements above have been met in order for the marriage to be binding under Indian tribal customs and laws and thus recognized as valid under State law.