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Tis the season to GET MARRIED! …. and perhaps abroad? By Sara Barnes

By in All Blogs, Family Law Category on January 13th, 2014

For the last week or so there has been a lot of media hype about ‘D Day’ or ‘Divorce Day’.I think I am in the minority of people who think it really is a lot of hype and in my experience, during the first few days after the New Year there are no more new enquiries than at any other time of the year.Yes, people often call me updating me about events which have taken place over the Christmas period but new enquiries, not necessarily so.

However, whilst January is also supposedly the busiest time for divorce, it is also reported that it is the busiest time for bookings for wedding venues.A much more happier  subject to start the New Year! So this week, I thought I would look on the brighter side, and talk about getting married.

Having had a relatively big (ish) wedding and knowing the stresses it involved, I think the idea of getting married on a sandy beach with just the sound of the sea, or on top of a snow capped mountain is quite attractive. With the potential cost savings, I can understand why more people are opting for this type of wedding.

Most marriages abroad, particularly as part of a ‘wedding package’ will be considered valid when you return to the UK, but it is important to make sure if you do decide to marry abroad, as otherwise the consequences further down the line can be fatal.Your local Registry Office or a good solicitor should be able to advise you.

If you are marrying abroad, each country has different rules and legal formalities which need to be complied with.Frequently there is a requirement to confirm you are free to marry in the form of affidavit (sworn statement) or statutory declaration, or simply a letter from a solicitor. You may also have to produce certified copies of certain documentation such as your birth certificate or if you have been married before, DecreeAbsolute or former spouse’s death certificate.A solicitor will be able to do this for you for a small fee.Some countries require documentation to be apostilled or legalised and again a solicitor can help you obtain this.

My one top tip if you do get married abroad is to obtain several copies of your marriage certificate as it can be difficult to obtain copies at a later date.

And of course….. you should always consider whether a pre-nuptial agreement is necessary!

If you need some help preparing for your marriage particularly if it is abroad, contact me, Sara Barnes on 01245 809556 or sbarnes@thelawhouse.com