20 May 2014
When is a Divorce Not Legally Binding?
Yesterday we blogged about the importance of meeting legal and procedural requirements for a valid marriage when trying to tie the knot.
A case reported in The Times on Friday also highlights the importance of paying the same level of attention to the legal and procedural requirements for obtaining a valid divorce.
The Times reports the case of a couple who believed they had been divorced in 2012, following a divorce procedure aimed at legally ending the marriage in Russian Consulate.
Believing they had effectively ended their marriage, the wife went on to re-marry, and the report suggests that the husband made plans to do so. Unfortunately, a Judge has ruled that the process undertaken did not constitute a legally-recognised divorce and that the marriage therefore remained in subsistence. This is likely to mean that the wife has (inadvertently) undertaken a bigamous and therefore invalid marriage to her second spouse.
It's important not to assume that all divorce processes are automatically effective at legally ending a marriage. If the divorce has been ended as a result of anything other than the usual Court process here in the UK, it's always advisable to double-check the position before entering into any further marriage ceremony.
Many people would be surprised to understand how many processes dealing with a separated couple are not in fact sufficient to constitute a valid divorce. In some cases, a religious, cultural or procedural process may need to be supplemented by a Court-based process.
Cara Nuttall is a Family & Divorce Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
For a free initial consultation call our Family & Divorce Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help. Our contact centre in Manchester is open 24 hours 7 days a week.
We also offer an easy to understand guide book on Marriage, Divorce, Children, Separation & The Legal System that clearly defines the legal journey ahead for people facing a separation or divorce; see Family Law Made Simple.
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