Marriage (scotland) Act 1977

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1977 c. 15


Marriage (Scotland) Act 1977

1977 CHAPTER 15

An Act to make new provision for Scotland as respects the law relating to the constitution of marriage, and for connected purposes.

[26th May 1977]

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:—

Minimum age for marriage

Minimum age for marriage

S-1 Minimum age for marriage

1 Minimum age for marriage

(1) No person domiciled in Scotland may marry before he attains the age of 16.

(2) A marriage solemnised in Scotland between persons either of whom is under the age of 16 shall be void.

Forbidden degrees

Forbidden degrees

S-2 Marriage of related persons.

2 Marriage of related persons.

(1) A marriage between a man and any woman related to him in a degree specified in column 1 of Schedule 1 to this Act, or between a woman and any man related to her in a degree specified in column 2 of that Schedule shall be void if solemnised—

(a ) in Scotland; or

(b ) at a time when either party is domiciled in Scotland.

(2) For the purposes of this section a degree of relationship exists—

(a ) in the case of a degree specified in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to this Act, whether it is of the full blood or the half blood; and

(b ) in the case of a degree specified in paragraph 1 or 2 of the said Schedule, even where traced through or to any person of illegitimate birth.

(3) Where a person is related to another person in a degree not specified in Schedule 1 to this Act that degree of relationship shall not, in Scots law, bar a valid marriage between them; but this subsection is without prejudice to—

(a ) the effect which a degree of relationship not so specified may have under the provisions of a system of law other than Scots law in a case where such provisions apply as the law of the place of celebration of a marriage or as the law of a person's domicile; or

(b ) any rule of law that a marriage may not be contracted between persons either of whom is married to a third person.

Preliminaries to regular marriage

Preliminaries to regular marriage

S-3 Notice of intention to marry.

3 Notice of intention to marry.

(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4) below, each of the parties to a marriage intended to be solemnised in Scotland shall submit to the district registrar a notice, in the prescribed form, of intention to marry (in this Act referred to as a ‘marriage notice’) accompanied by the prescribed fee, his birth certificate and—

(a ) if he has previously been married and the marriage has been dissolved, a copy of the decree of divorce, dissolution or annulment;

(b ) in the case of a widow or widower, the death certificate of the former spouse;

(c ) in any case where a certificate is required under subsection (5) below, that certificate.

(2) If a party is unable to submit his birth certificate or any document referred to in paragraph (a ) or (b ) of subsection (1) above, he may in lieu thereof make a declaration stating that for reasons specified in that declaration it is impracticable for him to submit that certificate or document; and he shall provide the district registrar with such—

(a ) information in respect of the matters to which such certificate or document would have related; and

(b ) documentary evidence in support of that information,

as the district registrar may require.

(3) If any document submitted under subsection (1) above is written in a language other than English, the party submitting it shall attach to that document a translation of it in English certified by the translator as a correct translation.

(4) Where a party to a marriage intended to be solemnised in Scotland is residing in another part of the United Kingdom, he may submit to the district registrar a valid certificate for marriage (in this Act referred to as an ‘approved certificate’) issued in that other part; and where that party so submits an approved certificate, he need not, unless the Registrar General so directs, comply with the other provisions of this section.

(5) A party to a marriage intended to be solemnised in Scotland who is not domiciled in any part of the United Kingdom is required, if practicable, to submit under subsection (1)(c ) above a certificate, issued by a competent authority in the state in which the party is domiciled, to the effect that he is not known to be subject to any legal incapacity (in terms of the law of that state) which would prevent his marrying:

Provided that such a party—

(i) may, where under the law of the state in which he is domiciled his personal law is that of another foreign state, submit in lieu of the said certificate a like certificate issued by a competent authority in that other state;

(ii) need not submit a certificate under paragraph (c ) of subsection (1) above if he has been resident in the United Kingdom for a period of 2 or more years immediately before the date on which he submits a marriage notice under that subsection in respect of the said marriage.

S-4 Marriage notice book and list of intended marriages.

4 Marriage notice book and list of intended marriages.

(1) On receipt of a marriage notice or an approved certificate in respect of a party to an intended marriage, the district registrar shall forthwith enter such particulars, extracted from such notice or certificate, as may be prescribed, together with the date of receipt by him of such notice or certificate, in a book (in this Act referred to as ‘the marriage notice book’) supplied to him for that purpose by the Registrar General.

(2) The district registrar shall, in relation to each intended marriage in respect of which he has received a marriage notice or an approved certificate, and as soon as practicable after such receipt, make an entry giving the names of the parties to, and the proposed date of, that marriage in a list which he shall display in a conspicuous place at the registration office; and such entry shall remain so displayed until the said date has elapsed.

(3) Any person claiming that he may have reason to submit an objection to an intended marriage, or to the issue of a certificate under section 7 of this Act to a party to such marriage, may, free of charge and at any time when the registration office is open for public business, inspect any entry relating to the marriage in the marriage notice book.

S-5 Objections to marriage.

5 Objections to marriage.

(1) Any person may at any time before the solemnisation of a marriage in Scotland submit an objection in writing thereto to the district registrar:

Provided that where the objection is on the ground mentioned in subsection (4)(d ) below, it shall be accompanied by a supporting certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner.

(2) Where the district registrar receives an objection in accordance with subsection (1) above he shall—

(a ) in any case where he is satisfied that the objection relates to no more than a misdescription or inaccuracy in the marriage notice or approved certificate, notify the parties to the marriage of the nature of the objection and make such enquiries into the matter mentioned in it as he thinks fit; and thereafter he shall, subject to the approval of the Registrar General, make any necessary correction to any document relating to the marriage;

(b ) in any other case—

(i) forthwith notify the Registrar...

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