Getting married or forming a civil partnership in England and Wales is subject to a set of rules. What’s more, if you or your partner are/is a foreign national, you will need to apply for an adequate type of visa. Our team of marriage solicitors is ready to answer all your questions concerning civil partnerships and unions and can help you discuss all the relevant legal aspects as you begin your beautiful journey together.
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Getting married in the UK
Getting married is an exciting time and oftentimes the couple is so invested in the preparations of the event that they do not take the needed time to discuss the legal implications of the legally recognized union.
Their financial future, both for joint assets and for the eventuality in which the marriage breaks down, is an important and not often discussed topic. Pre and post-nuptial agreements can solve this issue as well as help the couple consider the way their assets will be protected in the event of their separation. Understandably, couples prefer to avoid thinking of this possibility when they are just starting their journey together, however, it is an essential step for healthy financial planning.
The first step however is to enter into a civil partnership or a marriage in the UK. Below, our marriage solicitors list the most important conditions applicable in England and Wales:
- Age: the spouses need to be 16 or over; when they are under 18 they need permission from their parents or guardians;
- Previous marriage: the two must not be involved in a civil partnership or be already married;
- Relation: the spouses cannot be closely related; marriage is not allowed in this case;
- Foreign nationals: when one of the spouses is a foreign national, he or she will need to apply for a visa.
Making sure that you comply with these requirements before planning the ceremony is important and our team of marriage solicitors can help you check your compliance. This step is particularly important in the case of foreign nationals and our solicitors can provide complete assistance during the process.
Our team can answer any question about the type of ceremony, the marriage registration and the conditions to form a civil partnership. We offer counsel to heterosexual and same-sex couples.
Services offered by our marriage solicitors
Getting married in the UK starts with saying “yes” and is followed by a set of steps, including checking the conditions, giving notice and submitting the required documents. This step takes place at the local register office and a condition for this to be possible is for the ones who give notice to have lived in that area for at least 7 days. A fee applies during this stage and the documents that are required usually include identity documents, proof of address and name change and details of the final venue for the ceremony. Our marriage solicitors are able to assist during all of these steps and provide proper guidance if you have been married or in a civil partnership before, as in this case you will also need to bring other documents.
Some of the most important services we provide are the following:
- Assistance for marriage registration: our team can help you find the register office in your area and prepare the documents that are required for giving notice;
- International marriages: if you or your partner are/is a foreign national, our marriage solicitors can help you apply for the right type of visa;
- Pre-nuptial agreements: tailored to the client’s needs, this document states the manner in which the assets are divided if the marriage breaks down; it is entered into before marriage;
- Post-nuptial agreements: when the spouses did not have the time to sign the prenuptial and wish to sort out financial issues in case of separation, our team can help them sign a post-nuptial agreement.
Marriages in the UK seem to decrease, according to a release from the Office for National Statistics. In 2017 there were 242,842 marriages in England and Wales, a decrease of 2.8% from 2016. Other data shows the following:
- 6,932 marriages were formed between same-sex couples in 2017, a similar number to the previous year (7,019 marriages);
- less than a quarter (22%) of all marriages in 2017 were religious ceremonies;
- 88% of opposite-sex couples cohabited before deciding to get married in 2017;
- The average marriage age for same-sex couples was 38 years for men and 35.7 years for women in 2017;
- 994 same-sex civil partnerships were formed in England and Wales in 2019;
- 61% of same-sex civil partnerships in England and Wales in 2019 were between men.
Contact our marriage solicitors for complete assistance before entering into marriage or a civil partnership in England or Wales.
If you are not interested in entering a civil union, but dissolving one, our London divorce lawyer can answer your questions about how you can end your marriage. As newlyweds, if you find that your marriage was not the right step, you will need to wait for more than one year before you can file for divorce. Moreover, your relationship needs to have broken down permanently. Our divorce lawyer can give you more details.