Marriage

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on marriage. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
19.05.2015Key Issues for the 2015 Parliament
This book examines the key issues facing the House of Commons over the course of the 2015 Parliament - from the public finances to the UK's membership of the EU and from school places for children to climate change.
10.03.2015Sources of Statistics: Vital Statistics (Population, Demography and Health)
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on Vital Statistics (population, demography and health).
21.01.2015Forced marriage
The Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 has criminalised both forced marriage and breach of a Forced Marriage Protection Order. This note gives background.
07.01.2015Humanist marriage ceremonies
At present, humanist marriage ceremonies do not have legal force and the parties must have an additional ceremony (for example, at a register office) for the marriage to be legally valid. The British Humanist Association has campaigned for the law to be changed to allow humanist celebrants to conduct legal marriages.
07.01.2015Marriage venues
Marriages must normally take place in a register office; approved premises; a building of the Church of England or the Church in Wales; a building that has been registered for the purposes of religious marriage other than in the Church of England or Church in Wales; or a naval, military or air force chapel. There are various conditions surrounding the couple's choice of venue.
25.11.2014Pre-nuptial agreements
A pre-nuptial (or pre-marital) agreement is an agreement made by a couple before they marry or enter into a civil partnership which sets out how they wish their assets to be divided if they should divorce or have their civil partnership dissolved. Pre-nuptial agreements are not automatically enforceable in courts in England and Wales.
08.09.2014Financial provision on the breakdown of a relationship
On the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership, a couple may agree between themselves how to divide their assets and income. This may be embodied in a consent order approved by the court. When agreement is not possible, the court may decide an application for financial provision. In such cases, the court is required by statute to have regard to 'all the circumstances of the case, first consideration being given to the welfare while a minor of any child of the family who has not attained the age of eighteen'.
15.05.2014Marriage of same sex couples across the UK: What's the same and what's different?
Legislation in England and Wales (the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013) and in Scotland (the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act 2014) introduces marriage for same sex couples. The legislation will also enable civil partners to convert their civil partnership into marriage, and transsexual people to change their legal gender without necessarily having to end their existing marriage.
09.05.2014Polygamy
This note deals with the recognition of polygamous marriages; immigration issues; social security benefits and pension entitlement.
28.04.2014Married couple's allowance
Some elderly married couples and civil partners are entitled to the married couple's allowance (MCA). In April 2000 the MCA was withdrawn from all couples, except those who were already 65 or over. This note provides a short explanation of the allowance, and the reasons behind the Government's decision to withdraw it in this way.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
06.02.2014Immigration Bill (HL Bill 84 of 2013-14)
This Library Note provides information on the Immigration Bill, which is due for second reading in the House of Lords on 10 February 2014.
30.05.2013Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill (HL Bill 29 of 2013-14)
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill would extend civil marriage to include same-sex couples and allow those religious organisations who wished to do so to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies. This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the Bill's second reading in the House of Lords on 3 June 2013.
07.02.2011Debate on 10 February: The Role of Marriage and Marriage Support in British Society
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate on the role of marriage and marriage support in British society eleven years after the report on 'Funding for Marriage Support' by Sir Graham Hart.

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
03.11.2011FAITHFULNESS MATTERS CAMPAIGN
That this House supports the Faithfulness Matters campaign which affirms that faithfulness between people in committed relationships matters, for individuals, for families, for children ...
09.03.2011ROYAL WEDDING PUBLIC HOLIDAY
That this House welcomes the announcement of a public holiday for the Royal Wedding on 29 April 2011; notes with concern that some employers are not giving their employees the day off; ...
13.01.2011PROPOSAL FOR FREE TRAVEL IN LONDON ON ROYAL WEDDING DAY
That this House notes that millions of people will need to move around London on the day of the Royal Wedding on 29 April 2011; further notes that many visitors to London and tourists ...
17.11.2010ENGAGEMENT OF HRH PRINCE WILLIAM AND CATHERINE MIDDLETON
That this House congratulates HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton on their engagement; and wishes them a long and happy marriage.
13.09.2010RELIGIOUS MARRIAGE CEREMONIES IN THE UK
That this House notes the provisions of the Marriage Act 1949 and the Marriage Act (Scotland) 1977; further notes that these two Acts create a differential standard of recognition for ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses