July 28, 2023by Naomi Cramer

Non-legally binding marriages, or non-recognised marriages which these ceremonies are generally referred to, have been a degree of competition when coping with non secular marriages and the power to make a declare for monetary aid.

Validity of non secular marriages performed in Manukau and Manukau

The principle situation for questionable non secular marriages is the authorized standing of the ceremony.

As a lawyer, we should take into account whether or not there may be:

a) A legitimate marriage that comes below our marriage legal guidelines, primarily the Marriage Act 1949 and satisfies all of the required formalities.

b) A void marriage which additionally comes below the 1949 Act however fails to fulfill all the mandatory formalities and is due to this fact void below s11 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

This usually happens when the events moderately imagine they’ve completed every thing mandatory below the Marriage Act 1949 however haven’t.

For void marriages, the events are entitled to the identical family regulation monetary cures that divorcing {couples} have in legitimate marriage.

c) Or is it a ceremony that falls utterly exterior of the authorized framework, and is taken into account to be a non-recognised marriage, which have extra not too long ago been known as both a non-qualifying ceremony or non-legally binding ceremony.

In such circumstances, the events are usually not entitled to any of the authorized protections of void or legitimate marriages. They as an alternative should reply upon complicated and costly authorized cures flowing from contract, property, or belief regulation which lack the discretionary powers a decide within the household court has.


If the wedding is held to be legitimate or void, the financially weaker social gathering can apply for monetary aid from the household court. If not, then they’re left to depend on the combination of property, contract, and belief regulation obtainable to cohabitants which can lead to a scarcity of economic safety, insufficient pension provision and a scarcity of automated inheritance rights.


A principal function of the workshop was to think about how cohabitation regulation reform may help these {couples} who search to have a non-recognised marriage (i.e. non-legally binding ceremony) regardless of the efforts of many in elevating public consciousness of the implications, often for the financially weaker social gathering, within the occasion the relationship breaks down or when the financially stronger social gathering dies and has not made enough monetary provision for the surviving social gathering of their Will and the dearth of pension rights.

It’s to be famous, that in non-legally binding ceremonies involving a non secular ceremony, the couple and their neighborhood will see them as being married and never as cohabitants. Whereas some cohabitants search authorized recognition; others deliberately cohabit to keep away from authorized rights and obligations. Some {couples} in non secular solely marriages need their marriage to be recognised by the regulation, whereas others have intentionally chosen the choice of non-recognition. The place this autonomy flows from an knowledgeable alternative, it’s argued, that it needs to be revered.

Beneath The Regulation Fee’s 2007 report on “Cohabitation: The Monetary Penalties of Relationship Breakdown”, it beneficial that to be eligible for its proposed scheme of economic aid, cohabitants should both have had a child collectively or have lived collectively for a number of years, instructed to be between 2 and 5 years.

In The Regulation Fee’s 2022 report, “A New Weddings Regulation”, non-legally binding non secular marriages would nonetheless be permitted with out penalty or obligatory requirement for a civil registration. There’s a college of thought that the eligibility standards needs to be prolonged to cowl those that have undergone a non-legally binding ceremony of marriage, both religion primarily based or non-faith primarily based to supply fairness. It’s because the ceremony would have been an awesome occasion of significance to exhibit the events’ dedication to at least one one other.


It is extremely essential to make sure that a client with worldwide connections takes overseas authorized recommendation to resolve which jurisdiction is greatest to cope with the divorce. The overseas authorized system may not observe strict Islamic or different non secular ideas; be influenced by the geographical customs and tradition; or apply totally different guidelines of regulation relying upon if one identifies themselves as belonging to a selected non secular religion or not.


In Tousi v Gaydukova [2023] EWHC 404 (Fam), an Iranian nationwide and a Ukrainian nationwide had an Iranian marriage within the Iranian embassy in Kyiv. As Ukraine treats embassies as being a part of the “host state”, the wedding needed to adjust to Ukrainian regulation. The only joint knowledgeable was clear there was no legitimate marriage. Mostyn J determined that regardless of the couple having over 20 years of real perception in good religion {that a} legitimate marriage had been created, as a result of no aid can be obtainable in Ukraine, there needs to be no aid in Manukau and Manukau. The husband is now interesting the choice.

Mostyn J criticised the present regulation as follows at paragraph 90 of his judgment:

“These are usually not uncommon and distant outliers. There are a lot of non secular (often Islamic) marriages solemnised in non-public dwellings in gross disregard of our legal guidelines (or the host nation’s legal guidelines) in regards to the due type for such ceremonies… the state of affairs is a disreputable mess and urgently must be definitively clarified each substantively and procedurally”.

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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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