Getting Married Abroad – Everything You Need To Know

If you dream of getting married abroad on a sunny beach with pristine white sand, you are not alone. The number of Brits saying ‘I do’ abroad continues to rise.

But it’s not just sorting out the dress and worrying about a wedding speech – you will need the correct documentation, which can cost money and take time.

Fortunately, Sally Perrett, family solicitor at CJCH, outlines everything you need to know about tying the knot abroad.

What conditions must be met for a marriage or civil partnership which has taken place abroad to be valid in the UK?

Firstly, the marriage has recognition as a legal marriage in the country in which it took place. Secondly, the parties have complied with the procedures in the country of marriage. In addition, each party must have the capacity to marry under the laws of the relevant country. Capacity covers issues such as age, consent and mental capacity. Finally, any previous marriage (if relevant) must have ended before marrying again.

What paperwork do you need to take with you when marrying or entering into a civil partnership abroad?

The full legal requirements will vary from country to country, but every country will require the bride and groom to have the following documents:

  • Valid 10-year passport with at least six months remaining on it
  • Full birth certificates
  • Deed poll proof of any name change
  • Decree absolute, if married
  • Marriage and death certificates of a deceased spouse, if widowed
  • Adoption certificate, if adopted
  • If marrying in a non-English speaking country, translation of documents may be required and given an apostille (additional certification of authenticity) to validate the document abroad. The Foreign Office carries out this service.

Other documents required:

Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) – Each party will need one to prove there is no reason they cannot marry. This document is obtainable from a local registry office or embassy. They take around a month to issue, cost £30 and last for 6 months from the date of issue. They are required in Aruba, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Turkey

Single Status Statutory Declaration – similar to the CNI, it proves the couple are free to marry. They must be stamped and certified by a solicitor in the UK. Countries that require this are Antigua, the Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Kenya, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.

What are the main issues people run into when marrying or entering into a civil partnership abroad?

Generally, not leaving enough time to ensure correct documentation. Indeed, this may be the most complicated part of the wedding preparations! Ensure you leave enough time as certifying a document through the foreign office can take up to 6 weeks.

Are there any countries that have special requirements for getting married abroad?

Each country will have its own specific requirements. Make sure you do your research and check the rules beforehand. Some countries, such as Mexico and Turkey will require medical/blood tests so check before. Consult a solicitor with experience on these matters prior to the wedding.

What top tips would you give to someone looking to get married or enter into a civil partnership abroad?

Cost and time! Remember to factor the cost of obtaining documents into the wedding budget and the time to obtain documents. Be sure to speak to a solicitor if you are unclear about the documentation you may require.

How can we help:

CJCH has extensive knowledge and experience in family & matrimonial matters. Get in touch with a qualified member of our team today.

Email: family@cjch.co.uk

Telephone:  0333 231 6405

 

6 Things You Need to Know About Prenuptial Agreements

By Sarah Perkins

With Spring underway, the days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer and wedding season begins!

Changes in society continue to affect people’s attitude towards marriage and particularly around prenuptial agreements.

The average age at first marriage continues to rise into the mid 30s. With people marrying later, they bring assets they have accumulated or inherited into the marriage that they may want to protect.

Women are prioritising their careers first and starting families later, which contributes towards the trend of putting these measures in place ahead of saying ‘I do.’

Discussing finances with a loved one can be a particularly sensitive issue and nobody plans for a marriage to end, but it is important to plan for any eventuality.

To help figure out if a prenuptial agreement is for you, below are six things you need to know about prenuptial agreements.

  1. What is a prenuptial agreement and is it a legally valid document in England and Wales?
    A prenuptial agreement consists of a formal written agreement which is entered into between the partners to the relationship ahead of the marriage. It outlines what each party is entitled to should the marriage end, as well as any other related conditions.
  2. Why should couples consider getting a prenuptial agreement?
    Both parties should consider a pre-nuptial agreement for the simple reason that it provides peace of mind going into the marriage that all aspects of their finances, assets and property are protected. It isn’t a matter of trusting each other, but rather a matter of being responsible and planning for your own future, for any eventuality. It can also protect one partner against the other’s debt, protect inherited assets or children’s inheritance, and ensure control over business assets.
  3. How can a solicitor help someone make a prenuptial agreement?
    A solicitor can ensure the prenuptial agreement is drafted properly. This makes it more likely the agreement will be upheld in a divorce. The agreement should be carried out at least 28 days ahead of the wedding to ensure that all matters are resolved by the ceremony. Allow as much time as possible to ensure all matters are thoroughly considered, negotiated and signed without any unnecessary pressure.
  4. What should someone do if they’re asked to sign a prenuptial agreement?
    Before signing, you should seek advice from a qualified solicitor. This doesn’t mean that you do not trust your partner, but it is important to protect your own interests as well as your collective interests. Ensure that the agreement takes your circumstances into consideration and is much for your own good as it is for your partner’s.
  5. What should be included in a prenuptial agreement?
    It is best to assess this on a case by case basis as it is largely related to the value of the item to the individual, both from a financial and sentimental perspective. There aren’t specific rules for what should not be included, but rather just as much is discussed and agreed as possible, and nothing is left to chance.
  6. What happens during a divorce if the couple has a prenuptial agreement?
    In the event of a breakdown in the marriage, couples will divide ownership of their belongings based on the prenuptial agreement.Generally, assets are divided 50/50 among both parties in the event of a divorce that doesn’t involve a prenuptial agreement. However, that may feel unfair to you if you have inherited assets, you own a business, or if your partner has outstanding debt.

How we can help:

For more information on prenuptial agreements, get in touch with our dynamic team in family, matrimonial and childcare law directly via:

Telephone: 0333 231 6405

Email: family@cjch.co.uk