Can you Divorce Without your Marriage Certificate?

In order to get a divorce in England and Wales, you must provide the court with a copy of your original marriage certificate, but what happens if you have lost your certificate? You may think this means you can’t get a divorce. Thankfully, this isn’t true.

Can you apply for a divorce without a marriage certificate?

When you’re applying for a divorce in England and Wales, you must submit a copy of your marriage certificate to the court. However, documentation like certificates can go missing, and many couples seeking a divorce may be wondering ‘what happens if I have lost my marriage certificate?’

The good news is that if you’ve misplaced your marriage certificate, you can contact your local registrar office to get a certified copy of the marriage certificate. This can be used to issue your divorce proceedings. It will cost you a small fee of £11 and you should expect to arrive within 3-5 working days once you’ve made the payment.

What information do you need to get a replacement marriage certificate?

You can apply for a marriage certificate online or by post. You should make sure you have the following details ready before you apply:

  • The name of both parties
  • The date of the marriage 
  • The specific place of marriage, such as the venue or the church

How can you get a certified copy of your marriage certificate?

As well as applying online or via post, you can also visit your local registrar office and apply in person to get a certified copy of your marriage certificate.

If you do so, you will need to complete an application form on your arrival and make the payment. No matter how you apply, you will receive your certified marriage certificate in the post 3-5 days after your application has been received. 

What to do if your ex-partner won’t provide you with the marriage certificate

Struggles in obtaining a marriage certificate is one of the greatest frustrations that can occur during divorce proceedings, and having an ex-partner who won’t provide you with the certificate can cause issues.

If you can’t get the certificate from your ex-partner, you will still be required to apply for a certified copy of the marriage certificate and provide it to the courts. 

How to get a marriage certificate if you didn’t marry in England or Wales

If you were married in Scotland, you will need to contact the National Records of Scotland (NROS) for an Official Extract from the Register. Copy of certificates cost £12 and online applications take up to 15 working days to process. 

If you were married in Northern Ireland, you should contact the General Registry of Northern Ireland (GRONI). Copy of certificates will cost £15.

How to get a marriage certificate if you married outside of the UK

Every country has their own regulations in relation to marriage, and so you will need to find the relevant authorities to obtain a copy of your marriage certificate. A good place to start is the place you got married or the country’s embassy, since many allow you to order directly on their website. 

If your marriage certificate is not in English, you must provide the court with a certified translation of the marriage certificate. This means getting an expert to translate your certificate for you. 

Our goal is to help our clients solve their family legal matters as smoothly as possible.

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