Changes to the Marriage Act

7th May 2021

Changes to the Marriage Act have been announced this week , that the Home Office says are ‘the biggest changes to the marriage registration system since 1837‘.

In England and Wales, marriages were previously recorded by both parties to the marriage signing a register book which was retained at a registered religious building.  Within the Marriage Certificate, only details of each parties’ fathers appeared.

Members of Parliament have been campaigning for change and equality in the law within this area. This has included a number of changes that came into force on Tuesday 4th May 2021:-

  1. There has been a shift away from a paper-based system, to a new, single electronic register that has been created to streamline the process and move away from data needing to be extracted from hard-copies.
  2. The names and occupations of both parents will now be included on the Marriage Certificate, a change which brings the law of England and Wales in line with Scotland and Northern Ireland. It also aligns the information recorded with the Civil Partnership documents.

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, more organisations have been forced to adapt their ways of working which involve a lot of processes moving online, which may have put pressure on the Bill being pushed through Parliament.

Here at Hannays Solicitors and Advocates, we understand the difficulties that couples can face when their marriage breaks down. We are here to provide you with support and practical advice regarding divorce, separation and matrimonial finances. Please contact the office on 0191 4555361 to make an appointment.