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Planning a Wedding Ceremony? Make Sure It Is Legal

As wedding season starts to approach as we move towards Spring, it is important for people planning a ceremony, whether in the UK or abroad, to remember to make sure that their marriage ceremony constitutes a legal marriage and abides by all the requirements necessary to meet the criteria.

Under Matrimonial Law in England & Wales, whether or not there is a valid marriage has big implications for what financial settlement (if any) there can be if the relationship breaks down.

There have been a number of cases when, following a couple living as man and wife for many years, it has come to light that due to a technicality in the ceremony, there is no marriage and so no settlement; or a much more limited one. The problem usually arises when weddings have been conducted abroad and legal requirements differ. A famous example is that of Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger, which was widely reported in the press at the time of their separation.

Anyone who is marrying or has married abroad and is worried whether they have a legally recognised marriage is advised to seek legal advice sooner rather than later, so that they can arrange a further ceremony if necessary.

By Cara Nuttall, a Family Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

Slater and Gordon have offices in England & Wales offering both flexible pricing and fixed fees for family law and divorce. For a free initial consultation call freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help.

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