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The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022

First published on: 7th March 2023

The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 came into force in England and Wales on 27 February 2023 and means that the legal age of marriage has increased to 18. It is now illegal to marry anyone aged 16 or 17 even with parental consent. Those found guilty of the offence face up to seven years in prison.

 Although only 0.06% of marriages involved people under the age of 18, this change has been introduced to protect vulnerable children from being forced into marriage.

The Act does not affect the recognition of any marriages which have already taken place between minors prior to the passing of the legislation.

Should you have any queries or concerns regarding this, please contact Donna Myers, Diocesan Registrar.

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