An increasing number of couples have more than one marriage ceremony – one legal and one non-legal. Perhaps they have a civil ceremony before jetting off to an exotic location for their wedding or they may have a register office wedding followed or preceded by a religious ceremony they might marry in the home country of one before having a ceremony in the home country of the other (or even a third country unrelated to either).
However there are some pitfalls to watch out for if a divorce is sought by the couple later as the recent case X v Y shows.
Legally-speaking no you cannot. Once you are legally married you remain married and until ended by operation of the law or death that marriage continues. Any non-legal ceremonies taking place before and legal or non-legal ceremonies taking place after do not affect the start date of the marriage. The marriage begins on the date of the first legal ceremony.
Let’s have a look at the two main scenarios...
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