Foreign Marriage (Amendment) Act 1988

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1988 c. 44


Foreign Marriage(Amendment) Act 1988

1988 CHAPTER 44

An Act to amend the Foreign Marriage Act 1892 and to repeal certain enactments which are spent relating to the validation of marriages of British subjects solemnised outside the United Kingdom.

[2nd November 1988]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Persons whose marriages may be solemnised or registered under the 1892 Act.

1 Persons whose marriages may be solemnised or registered under the 1892 Act.

(1) In the Foreign Marriage Act 1892 (in this Act referred to as ‘the 1892 Act’) in section 1 (which validates certain marriages abroad where at least one of the parties is a British subject) for the words from the beginning to ‘British subject’ there shall be substituted the words—

(1) All marriages between parties of whom at least one is a United Kingdom national’.

(2) At the end of that section there shall be added the following—

(2) In this Act 'United Kingdom national' means a person who is—

(a) a British citizen, a British Dependent Territories citizen, a British Overseas citizen or a British National (Overseas); or

(b) a British subject under the British Nationality Act 1981 ; or

(c) a British protected person, within the meaning of that Act.’

(3) The words ‘United Kingdom national’ shall be substituted for the words ‘British subject’—

(a) in section 18(1) of the 1892 Act (registration of marriages solemnised under local law); and

(b) in section 21(1)(a) of that Act (regulations restricting the exercise by marriage officers of their powers under that Act).

(4) In section 24 of that Act (definitions), after the definition of ‘prescribed’ there shall be inserted the following definition—

‘The expression 'United Kingdom national' has the meaning given by section 1(2) above.’

S-2 Consent requirements for parties domiciled in Northern Ireland or Scotland varied or abolished according to the law of their domicile.

2 Consent requirements for parties domiciled in Northern Ireland or Scotland varied or abolished according to the law of their domicile.

(1) For section 4 of the 1892 Act (same consent required as for marriage in England and Wales, dispensation with consent and power to forbid marriage) there shall be substituted the following—

S-4 ‘Consent to marriage and power to forbid marriage.

4 ‘Consent to marriage and power to forbid marriage.

(1) The same consent shall be required to the marriage under this Act of a party domiciled in England and Wales or in a country outside the United Kingdom as would be required in respect of that party to a marriage solemnised in England and Wales on the authority of a certificate issued by a superintendent registrar under Part III of the Marriage Act 1949 .

(2) The same consent shall be required to the marriage under this Act of a party domiciled in Northern Ireland as would be required in respect of that party to a marriage solemnised there.

(3) No consent shall be required to a marriage under this Act in respect of a party domiciled in Scotland.

(4) The Secretary of State or, in such cases as may be prescribed, the Registrar General for England and Wales may dispense with the necessity of obtaining any consent required by virtue of subsection (1) above if he is satisfied that it cannot be obtained because of the absence, inaccessibility or disability of the person whose consent is so required.

(5) The necessity of obtaining any consent required by virtue of subsection (2) above may be dispensed with by an order under section 2 of the Marriages Act (Northern Ireland) 1954 ; and for the purposes of this subsection an application for such an order may be made to any county court in Northern Ireland.

(6) Any person whose consent is required to a marriage under this Act may at any time before its solemnisation forbid it by—

(a) writing the word 'forbidden' against the entry of the intended marriage in the book of notices; and

(b) adding after that word his name and address and a statement of the capacity by virtue of which his consent is required;

and if a marriage is so forbidden the notice shall be void and the intended marriage shall not be solemnised under that notice.’

(2) For paragraph (c) of section 7 of that Act (oath as to satisfaction of consent requirements) there shall be substituted the following—

‘(c) where either party is under the age of eighteen years and domiciled in a country other than Scotland—

(i) that any consent to the marriage which is required in respect of that party has been obtained,

(ii) that the necessity of obtaining any such consent in respect of that party has been dispensed with, or

(iii) if that party is domiciled in England and Wales or in a country outside the United Kingdom, either that he or she is a widow or widower or that there is no person having authority to give any such consent.’

S-3 Caveat against marriage.

3 Caveat against marriage.

(1) In section 5 of the 1892 Act (caveats) in subsection (2) (Secretary of State to refer doubtful cases to the Registrar-General for England and Wales for decision by him) for the words ‘to the Registrar-General, and the Registrar-General’ there shall be substituted the words ‘to whichever of the following he considers appropriate, that is to say—

(a) the Registrar General for England and Wales;

(b) the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Scotland; or

(c) the Registrar General in Northern Ireland;

and that Registrar General’.

(2) In subsection (4) of that...

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