Ready to Participate?
Ready to Participate?
Get Started!
Log In

declaring former marriages
Is there a penalty if someone fails to declare they've been married before when they marry again. This in a situation where a divorce has taken place.
Supplement from 07/08/2008 09:28am:
Thanks to everyone to their helpful comments, but I must not have explained myself very well. What I'm trying to establish is whether there might be a legal penalty for simply failing to tell the person you are planning to marry that you've been married (and divorced) in the past. (I'm not planning on doing this my self by the way, it's research for a novel). Many Thanks.

asked in legal, marriage laws, marriages

beeper_spryte answers:

you have to be truthful about former marriages when you apply for a marriage license, this is to ensure that bigamy doesn't occur.

if you have been married and subsequently divorced, you will have documentation proving your marital status.

i would urge you to be truthful, as the penalty for bigamy is fairly hefty.

/ reply

blacksmith81 answers:

Although the advice given below is given by Doncaster Borough Council, it applies universally across the whole UK;

Documents you may need to produce

When you attend before the superintendent registrar or Vicar to make the formal arrangements, you will need to produce certain documents. These are required to give evidence of your name, age, marital status and nationality.

A current valid full passport would be the preferred document (or, where appropriate, a Home Office Travel Document, a Standard Acknowledgement letter or a national identity card). If this is not available, your birth certificate and one other document showing your current name and address, may be acceptable.

If you have been married before, you will need to produce documents to confirm that you are now free to marry. These include either a decree absolute bearing the court’s original stamp, or the death certificate of your former spouse.

Depending on you individual circumstances, other documents may be required. The superintendent registrar will be able to advise you. However, you should be aware that photocopies are unlikely to be accepted.


During the wedding ceremony itself, you are merely required to affirm that there are no legal impediments to the marriage. This you have already proven to the celebrant beforehand.

/ reply

englishdanny answers:

Yeah. First you have to get a "decree Nisi" which is provisional until a "degree absolute" enables you to remarry some weeks later as the Nisi ruling allows time for objections to be raised by third parties.

Otherwise a marriage license will not be issued.

If no legal process, concerning the separation status has been confirmed by such rulings then you are legally classified as "separated" as opposed to "divorced".

This means that in the UK you cannot be issued a marriage licence.

There is also a time limit of either 24 or 36 months of separation which legally form a "De facto" divorce or at least a serious obstruction to take issue after the fact.

/ reply


No Comments