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Marriage Contracts

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 21 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
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Regardless of the reasons why couples enter into marriage it is usually taken very seriously and this is reflected by the legally binding marriage contracts. There are two basic traditional forms of marriage in Britain; religious and the civil ceremony, and both types will give the husband and wife certain rights.

Marriage Contracts

When people are married they will enter into a marriage contract that gives them certain rights. The marriage contract is a legally binding document that give the married couple certain rights that are not extended to people who are simply cohabiting. Married rights can include financially supporting each other and responsibilities regarding child support.

There are also legal rights involved regarding state benefits and pensions from the contributions of a spouse that are not extended to couples who are cohabiting. These rights are taken very seriously and can be enforced if the marriage breaks down.

Parental Responsibility

Another important right supplied by a marriage contract is parental responsibility. If a child was born while the parents were married then both parents have joint responsibility of the child. This is a right that unmarried fathers do not have.

Property Rights

Under the law of marriage contracts a spouse has the right to live in the matrimonial home even if they are not the actual signed tenant or pay the mortgage. This right is given under the Matrimonial Act of 1983 and is a right not extended to unmarried couples. There will also be rights under a marriage contract regarding property and the death of a spouse and rights regarding wills and estates.

Entering into a Marriage Contract

Anyone over the age of 16 who is not already married can enter into a marriage contract. But permission must be given from parents if the couple are under 18.

Legal Requirements

There are some legal requirements that must be met before a marriage will be seen as legal. Apart from the minimum age requirements these will include:

  • The marriage must either be a civil ceremony or a religious one.
  • The couple must not be related to each other.
  • Both partners must have consented to the marriage through their own free will.
  • Both partners must be of sound mind and fully able to understand the contract of marriage.
  • The location of the wedding should take place in a church, registry office or other authorised building.
  • Each partner must fulfil notified residency requirements.

Formal Notice of a Marriage

Regardless of whether the wedding is to be a civil ceremony or a religious marriage, public notice will be required. For religious ceremonies this will mean the reading of the banns, which is an announcement of the marriage in a church three weeks before the wedding. Both marriages will need to be registered in the district where the couple live, either by the registrar or by the priest or vicar who is conducting the wedding ceremony.

Required Documents

When the couple who are intending to marry visit the vicar or Registrar they will be required to bring some formal documentation. This will include documentation regarding the termination of any other marriages and either birth certificates or passports. If the couple to be married are under 18 then the consent forms from parents will also be needed.

Marriage contracts are taken seriously under the eyes of the law and religious organisations. In terms of breaking a marriage contract there will be legal requirements and a married couple will not be able to obtain a divorce until they have been married for at least one year. If either spouse is in any doubt regarding their marriage it is better for everyone involved to make these doubts known before the wedding ceremony rather than have to go through a complicated legal process afterwards.

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Hi i want to contarct base marriage for money ....
Zain - 21-Jul-18 @ 6:40 PM
I want to get into contract marriage. Its purely for financial help. Pleas eemail
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ARK - 17-Apr-18 @ 1:16 PM
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Mukesh Kumar Thakur - 3-Mar-17 @ 8:05 PM
I'm on polygamy relationship and my partner have marriage certificates in commit of property.it is the any chances of signing onother contract with me without his wife ner
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PK - 9-Sep-16 @ 3:38 PM
I am moroccan and resident of morocco. I am in a relationship with a UK citizen and we are thinking about civil marriage in UK next September (as in morocco the marriage procedure is complicated and so long). Could you please advise what will be my rights & obligations as a 'foreigner' getting married in UK? As well, is my passport enough to contract? Am I allowed to get married in UK with a ' 6 months Tourist Visa'? Thank you in advance for your help. Kind regards, Fadoua
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I am Jackson living in Pakistan the worst country in the world always thinking of terrorism please can you help me move to USA with my 14 year old kid.
Jack - 22-Jan-16 @ 8:39 AM
Hi, if there's a possibility tosecure my future husband in the UK about his property in case of divorce. Can I ssign documents to refuse claim any money or legal rights for his property? Thanks
Blondy - 21-Jan-16 @ 10:00 AM
Jordan - Your Question:
Please give me call, I want to discuss something very important

Our Response:
I'm afraid we do not conduct personal calls. You would have to ask your question via the comment box on the page.
ContractsAndAgreements - 4-Jan-16 @ 10:21 AM
Please give me call, I want to discuss something very important
Jordan - 3-Jan-16 @ 2:39 AM
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Abrar - 26-Nov-15 @ 9:17 AM
I am an Indian i am medical Lab Technician , posted in a district Hospital in India since 24/12/1999 now i want to go to UK join to NHS , regarding this i have need a Training in uk , and need a visa regarding this i want to contract marriage with a uk alone women who is agree with me and i want to serve her lonelyness if any one agree please contect with me by e-mail. OK. by. thanks.
Babul Nath - 11-Oct-15 @ 3:58 PM
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kabir - 3-Aug-15 @ 9:13 PM
@Angel - I am very sorry to hear this, it must be very upsetting for you. Unfortunately, divorce is the get-out clause to any marriage contract. However, you do not have to agree to a divorce, which will buy you extra time. You can stop your divorce proceedings any time up until the grant of the decree absolute. Once your decree absolute has been granted, there is no going back. It is not possible to ‘cancel’ a decree absolute as by law you have then completed the divorce proceedings and are no longer married to one another. If you decide that you do not want to divorce your spouse, but they do want to proceed with the divorce, you can contest the divorce. It is worth noting however that if one person wants to contest the divorce, the legal bills can become very expensive. In the meantime you may benefit from getting some professional legal advice, if this is the route you wish to take. I hope things work out for you.
ContractsAndAgreements - 15-Jul-15 @ 2:21 PM
I have been happily married for 10yrs and been with my husbandfor almost 15yrs. His second wife Suddenly contacted him after 29yrs and he at first told her to go away that he is happily married and has plans for the future but she was persistent to almost harassment. And he has now left me for her. He recently wanted to come back but she used every trick. In the book and changed his mind. I know that she is pushing him to divorce me. But I feel that we entered into am marriage contract for life is there any legal presidence for him being in breach of our marriage contract.
Angel - 13-Jul-15 @ 3:19 PM
I want to furnished with single lady of age 30-35 yrs for contract marriage
orumuemu - 11-Jun-15 @ 8:23 PM
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