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Family Law

Humanist Marriage Ceremonies in England and Wales

Humanist wedding blog

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

A Humanist marriage ceremony is a non-religious ceremony and conducted by a Humanist celebrant. they are a ‘non-traditional wedding’ in that they do not follow set declarations.

The current position?

The current legal position in England and Wales is that a Humanist marriage is not legally binding. If a Humanist marriage took place in England and Wales a further ceremony would need to be held for the marriage to be legally binding.

Potential to reform?

Though not legally recognised, there has been some thought to reform the position on Humanist Marriages and non-traditional marriages generally. A review conducted by the Law Commission found there as a need for a review of the law in this area.

The Government is considering an entire reform of marriage law and intends to publish a response in early 2023 and this is still awaited.

If individuals have celebrated their marriage with a non-traditional ceremony which is not recognised in England and Wales; there could be further issues if the parties chose to proceed with a divorce.  This is because the parties marriage would not be legally binding.

If you have any questions or concerns relating to any of the issues raised in this blog please do not hesitate to contact the Family Team at Samuel Phillips Law by emailing family_team@samuelphillips.co.uk or calling 0191 232 8451.

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