An Exotic Happy-Ever-After OR A Disaster In The Making?
Are you heading off to the sun to get married this year?
Have you and your intended decided to shun the English grey skies and opt to tie the knot abroad?
Getting married overseas is becoming increasingly popular. It can provide a romantic alternative for a couple, by themselves, or with a small number of family or friends, to travel to an exotic location to marry and then stay on for the honeymoon.
Certainly, marrying abroad is very much in vogue and an estimated 50,000 couples a year are marrying abroad. From nuptials on the beach in the Caribbean to a drive-through ceremony in Las Vegas, the world is your oyster!
A word of caution from local Divorce Specialist Nicola Poole, of Hedges Solicitors: "Whilst marrying abroad, in celebrity style, may be the latest fashion, it really is worth checking before you book those tickets, whether your foreign marriage will be recognised in the UK.
There are complicated legal provisions about the validity of marriages, but generally speaking, the rules say that marriages are recognised as valid here, provided they have complied with the laws of the country where the wedding has taken place, and provided the couple had the legal capacity to get married under their own laws" Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall married in an exotic ceremony in Bali in 1990 but, less than ten years later, ended up battling in court over whether or not they were actually married under English law.
Although the judge was shown photographs of the couple at their "elaborate ceremony" exchanging rings and cutting their cake, the wedding service was conducted by a Hindu priest, but under the South-East Asian laws in force at the time, the couple had to be Balinese Hindus for their marriage to have been recognised in Bali.
As they weren’t, it wasn’t, and their "marriage" was declared null and void.
So unless you are a celebrity with deep pockets and a love of litigation, do think about getting detailed legal advice as well as consulting your local embassy.
The family team at Hedges Solicitors, with offices in Wallingford and Didcot, can provide specialist advice on all aspects of family and matrimonial law.