REPEALED: (a) The Secretary of Health of Puerto Rico is hereby authorized to annotate, as he may deem convenient, in the originals of marriage certificates and transcriptions thereof filed in the Civil Registry or in the Vital Statistics Registry, the decrees of divorce or annulments of marriages rendered by the Court of First Instance of Puerto Rico, by the courts of the United States and by foreign courts with competent jurisdiction. When the divorce or annulment of marriage of persons whose marriage has been contracted in Puerto Rico is decreed outside of Puerto Rico, same shall be annotated in the Vital Statistics Registry on request of the interested party and upon previous presentation to the keeper of the Register of the decree, resolution or order duly certified and legalized.
(b) It shall be the duty of the Secretary of every Part of the Court of First Instance which renders a decree of divorce or of annulment of marriage to send to the Secretary of Health, free of cost, a certified and duly legalized copy of the decree, resolution or order rendered in each case, within the term of ten (10) days from and after the date on which said decree, resolution or order is final and enforceable. Said certified copy of the decree, resolution or order shall be accompanied by the information required by the Secretary of Health on the form provided for the purpose by the Office of Court Administration.
(c) The Secretary of Health shall use the information obtained in said decrees, resolutions or orders for statistical purposes of divorce and annulment of marriages, and to establish a divorce and annulment of marriages registry similar to the other registries kept by the Office of the Vital Statistics Registry.
(d) By petition of any interested party, the Secretary of Health or the person authorized by him/her shall issue a certified copy of the decree of divorce or nullity appearing in the divorce or annulment registry of the Civil Registry, upon prior payment of the sum in Internal Revenue stamps for each certificate issued, established pursuant to the regulations adopted for that purpose by the Secretary of Health under the provisions of § 1071a of this title. Half of said sum shall be cancelled on the certificate issued and the other half shall remain attached to the petition. Certified copies may be issued, free of charge, under the same conditions and for the same purposes as certified copies of birth, marriage and death certificates are issued. The copy of the decree of divorce or nullity certified by the Secretary of Health or his/her representative shall constitute prima facie evidence before every court of justice of the facts therein contained.
In case the decree of divorce or nullity does not appear registered or filed, a negative certificate shall be issued in the same manner as negative certificates are issued for births, marriages and deaths.
Mar. 2, 1971, No. 4, p. 11, §§ 1—4; Aug. 9, 1998, No. 220, § 6.
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