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Legislation changes mean that newlyweds risk £1,000 fine if they don’t register their marriage within one week

Changes in the registration system mean that newlywed couples could be presented with a £1,000 fine and found guilty of a criminal offence if they don’t register their marriage within the seven-day deadline.

Currently, newlyweds are asked to sign a register and certificate during the wedding ceremony but this could all change. The proposed changes, which could come into force by the end of 2019, mean that couples will no longer be presented with this certificate. Instead, they’ll be presented with a “marriage schedule” or “marriage document” which they will have to sign and take to their local register office according to The Faculty Office.

Couples will be given one week to officially register the marriage before they face any consequences and one concern for many is that they will be on their honeymoon during this period. In these instances, couples can ask someone else to lodge the document on their behalf but it is their responsibility to ensure that this is done.

It’s not only newlyweds who will face the consequences of the legislative reform. With 60,000 religious weddings happening each year, there will also be a significant increase in the workload of those employed by the registry office too.

The seven-day timescale is yet to be confirmed by the government’s General Register Office (GRO) but a Church of England body has said that they understand the couple will be given just one week to register.

Sweeney Miller’s Surbhi Vedhara commented, “The proposed change in regulations could cause newlyweds a lot of problems, especially if they plan to leave the country in the week following their wedding day. These legislative changes must be heavily publicised to avoid any confusion and unwanted penalties”.

If you require advice on a family issue, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sweeney Miller by calling 0345 900 5401 or using our contact form.

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