Written by Law Express Ltd.
The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 came into force last week.
The primary change introduced by the legislation increases the minimum age required to enter into marriage or a civil partnership. Even with parental consent, children can no longer marry or enter in to a civil partnership in England and Wales until they reach the age of 18. This is a change from the previous position where 16 and 17 years old could marry, or enter into a civil partnership with parental consent.
Changes were introduced to tackle issues with children being forced into marriage. The new legislation creates an offence where a child enters in to a marriage with or without force. The legislation also covers non-legally binding ceremonies. This is designed to tackle religious ceremonies as not all religious marriages are legal.
It is worth noting that marriage in Northern Ireland will remain legal at 16 with parental consent. In Scotland, the minimum age to marry remains at 16 and parental consent is not required. It seems, for now at least, that Gretna Green will retain its infamous status as a destination for younger couples to elope to.
If any CIPHE members have any questions or concerns about the topic discussed in this blog, please give us a call we are happy to assist.
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