Marriage Act 1983

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1983 c. 32


Marriage Act 1983

1983 CHAPTER 32

An Act to enable marriages of house-bound and detained persons to be solemnized at the place where they reside; and for connected purposes.

[13th May 1983]

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:—

Marriages in England and Wales

Marriages in England and Wales

S-1 Marriages of house-bound and detained persons in England and Wales.

1 Marriages of house-bound and detained persons in England and Wales.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and the Marriage Act 1949 , the marriage of a person who is house-bound or is a detained person may be solemnized in England and Wales, on the authority of a superintendent registrar's certificate issued under Part III of the Marriage Act 1949, at the place where that person usually resides.

(2) For the purposes of this section a person is house-bound if—

(a ) the notice of his or her marriage given in accordance with section 27 of the Marriage Act 1949 is accompanied by a statement, made in a form prescribed under that Act by a registered medical practitioner not more than fourteen days before that notice is given, that, in his opinion—

(i) by reason of illness or disability, he or she ought not to move or be moved from his or her home or the other place where he or she is at that time, and

(ii) it is likely that it will be the case for at least the three months following the date on which the statement is made that by reason of the illness or disability he or she ought not to move or be moved from that place; and

(b ) he or she is not a detained person.

(3) For the purposes of this section, a person is a detained person if he or she is for the time being detained—

(a ) otherwise than by virtue of section 2, 4, 5, 35, 36 or 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (short term detentions), as a patient in a hospital; or

(b ) in a prison or other place to which the Prison Act 1952 applies.

(4) In subsection (3) above ‘hospital’ and ‘patient’ have the same meanings as in Part II of the Mental Health Act 1983.

(5) For the purposes of this section, a person who is house-bound or is a detained person shall be taken, if he or she would not otherwise be, to be usually resident at the place where he or she is for the time being.

(6) Nothing in the preceding provisions of this section shall be taken to relate or have any reference to any marriage according to the usages of the Society of Friends or any marriage between two persons professing the Jewish religion according to the usages of the Jews.

(7) Schedule 1 to this Act (amendment of the Marriage Act 1949 in consequence of this section) shall have effect.

S-2 Consequential amendments of enactments.

2 Consequential amendments of enactments.

(1) Any reference in the Registration Service Act 1953 to the Marriage Act 1949 includes a reference to that Act as amended by this Act.

(2) In Schedule 3 to the Public Expenditure and Receipts Act 1968 (variation of fees payable under certain enactments) the reference to the Marriage Act 1949 includes a reference to that Act as amended by this Act.

(3) At the end of subsection (2) of section 1 of the Marriage (Registrar General's Licence) Act 1970 (restrictions on Registrar General's power to issue licences under subsection (1) of that section) there shall be added the words ‘(disregarding for this purpose the provisions of that Act relating to marriages in pursuance of section 26(1)(dd ) of that Act)’.

(4) In section 11 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (void marriages) for the words in paragraph (a ) ‘the Marriages Acts 1949 to 1970’ there shall be substituted the words ‘the Marriage Acts 1949 to 1983’.

Marriages in Northern Ireland

Marriages in Northern Ireland

S-3 Marriages of house-bound and detained persons in Northern Ireland.

3 Marriages of house-bound and detained persons in Northern Ireland.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act and the enactments relating to marriage in Northern Ireland, the marriage of a person who is house-bound or is a detained person may be solemnized in Northern Ireland on the authority of a licence issued by the Registrar General under section 4 below at the place where that person resides.

(2) Where a marriage is intended to be solemnized on the authority of the Registrar General's licence, notice of the intended marriage must be given in the prescribed form to the registrar of the district in which each party to the intended marriage has resided for at least seven days immediately before the notice is given.

(3) Where a person other than a detained person is to be married at his or her residence in pursuance of subsection (1) above, the notice of marriage required by subsection (2) above shall, where it is given to the registrar of the district in which the person resides, be accompanied by a medical statement relating to him or her made not more than fourteen days before the date on which the notice is given.

(4) In the case of the marriage of a detained person, the notice of marriage required by subsection (2) above shall, where it is given to the registrar of the district in which the detained person resides, be accompanied by a statement made in the prescribed form by the responsible authority not more than twenty-one days before the date on which notice of the marriage is given under that subsection—

(a ) identifying the establishment where the person is detained; and

(b ) stating that the responsible authority has no objection to that establishment being specified in the notice of marriage as the place where that marriage is to be solemnized.

(5) Where notice is given under subsection (2) above, the person giving the notice shall give the registrar the prescribed particulars, in the prescribed form, of the person by or before whom the marriage is intended to be solemnized.

(6) The registrar shall not enter the particulars given in the notice of the marriage in the marriage notice book until he has received the statement required by subsection (3) or (4) above and the particulars required by subsection (5) above.

(7) The fact that a registrar has received a statement under subsection (3) or (4) above shall be entered in the marriage notice book.

(8) In subsection (4) above ‘responsible authority’ means—

(a ) if the person named in the statement is detained in a prison, the governor or other officer for the time being in charge of that prison;

(b ) if the person named in the statement is detained in a hospital or special accommodation, the Health and Social Services Board administering that hospital or the Department, respectively;

(c ) if the person named in the statement is detained in a private hospital, the person in charge of that hospital.

(9) For the purposes of this section—

(a ) a person is house-bound if—

(i) the notice of his or her marriage given in accordance with subsection (2) above to the registrar of the district in which he or she resides is accompanied by a medical statement relating to him or her; and

(ii) he or she is not a detained person; and

(b ) a person is a detained person if he or she is for the time being detained—

(i)otherwise than by virtue of section 15, 16 or 106 of the Mental Health Act (Northern Ireland) 1961(shortterm detentions), as a patient in a hospital; or

(ii) in a prison.

(10) For the purposes of this section, a person who is house-bound or is a detained person shall be taken, if he or she would not otherwise be, to be resident at the place where he or she is for the time being and, in relation to such a person, references in the Marriage Acts, as applied by Schedule 2 to this Act, to his or her dwelling place or usual place of abode shall be construed accordingly.

(11) In this section—

‘hospital’ has the same meaning as in the Mental Health Act (Northern Ireland) 1961;

‘medical statement’, in relation to any person, means a statement made in the prescribed form by a registered medical practitioner that in his opinion, at the time the statement is made—

(a ) by reason of illness or disability, he or she ought not to move or be moved from the place where he or she is at that time, and

(b ) it is likely that it will be the case for at least the following three months that by reason of the illness or disability he or she ought not to move or be moved from that place;

‘patient’ has the same meaning as in the Mental Health Act (Northern Ireland) 1961 ;

‘prison’ includes a remand centre and a young offenders centre;

‘private hospital’ has the same meaning as in the Mental Health Act (Northern Ireland) 1961;

‘special accommodation’ has the same meaning as in the Mental Health Act (Northern Ireland) 1961.

S-4 Issue of licence by Registrar General.

4 Issue of licence by Registrar General.

(1) Where notice of an intended marriage is given to a registrar under section 3(2) above, the registrar shall—

(a ) inform the Registrar General; and

(b ) comply with any directions relating to the notice or the statement or particulars required by section 3(3), (4) or (5) which may be given to him by the Registrar General.

(2) Where the Registrar General—

(a ) is informed under subsection (1) above of an intended marriage; and

(b ) is satisfied that a licence should be granted,

he shall issue a licence in the prescribed form authorising the solemnization of the marriage unless—

(i) any lawful impediment to the issue of the licence has been shown to his satisfaction to exist; or

(ii) the issue of the licence has been forbidden under section 18 of the Marriages Act, as applied by Schedule 2 to this Act.

(3) The...

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