General Article Getting married

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Who can get married

According to the law of the United Kingdom, a man and a woman may marry if they are both 16 years or over and free to marry, that is, if they are single, widowed or divorced, or if they were in a civil partnership which has been dissolved.

In the United Kingdom people cannot marry if they are:

  • aged 16 or 17 who do not have parental consent
  • people of the same sex. However, a same-sex couple can register a civil partnership instead, which will give the partners many, if not all, the rights of married couples. For transsexual people, the relevant gender is the one on their current birth certificate
  • certain relatives.

Young people

If you are 16 or 17 you cannot marry without parental consent. Each parent with parental responsibility is entitled to give parental consent. In some circumstances, other people may give parental consent. In Northern Ireland a young person under 18 cannot marry without the consent of certain people.

For more information about wh...

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