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Marriage in the TRNCLast Updated 30 Apr 2024

We have received some enquiries recently relating to marriage in the TRNC. We thought it would be an opportune time to update ourselves on the position of marriages that take place in the TRNC.

We have consulted with the British High Commission on the situation as far as marriages are concerned. A copy of the reply from the Consular Department of the British High Commission dated today is enclosed for reference purposes. The advice that the BRS will be defaulting to from this point onward, will be as stated in the final paragraph of the reply below.

British High Commission Reply

Marriage in the UK is governed by separate and different legislation in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. None of the Register Offices in England and Wales, nor in Scotland or Northern Ireland issue certificates of marital status.

It is not necessary nor is it possible to register in the UK a marriage that has taken place under another country's law.

Only the courts in England and Wales can recognise a marriage under English and Welsh law that has taken place in a foreign jurisdiction. Whether the court will recognise such a marriage depends on two independent factors being satisfied separately: the parties much have capacity to marry, and they must comply with the form of marriage.

Capacity to marry is governed by the law of each party's domicile.

The usual rule in terms of the form of marriage is that if a marriage is valid under local law, the marriage will be recognised in English and Welsh law. If the use of the local form of marriage is impossible, the marriage will be recognised if the marriage is celebrated in accordance with the requirements of the English and Welsh common law. A matter that goes to both capacity and form is consent. No marriage is valid if, by the law of their either party's domicile, or party does not consent to marry the other.

UK marriage certificates are neither amended nor updated if the couple were to divorce in the future.

The information contained above is general and should not be taken as a definitive statement of law.

We would recommend that individuals seeking to marry in the north of Cyprus consult a UK-based family lawyer to provide them with bespoke advice.

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