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Reforms set to bring marriage formalities into the 21st century

Date:19 MAR 2021
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Mothers’ details will be included on marriage certificates for the first time from May 2021.

The Government is set to reform the law around the information to be contained within marriage certificates. A new system of marriage registration will form part of the reforms to the Civil Partnerships Marriages and Deaths Act 2019 which are due to come into force in a few weeks’ time.

The marriage register will also be transferred online as part of the reforms.

Marriage certificates: outdated and archaic?

Traditionally marriage certificates have included information regarding newlyweds’ fathers only – their names ages and their occupation.  There has been no mention of mothers (or a second parent regardless of gender).

This dates back to the Victorian times and provisions introduced by the Marriage Act 1836 reflective of how marriage was viewed within the patriarchal society at that time.  Children were seen as their father’s property brides were “given away” by their fathers and there was little consideration as to the importance of mother’s role within a child’s upbringing and life. 

Awareness of the need for reform increased in January 2014 when a petition stating “marriage should not be seen as...

Read the full article here.