Do you want a divorce but have lost your marriage certificate? Don’t fear; read on to find out what you can do if you find yourself in this stressful situation.
If you are going through a divorce you will be asked to supply your marriage certificate to the court. It is important that you supply this document so that the divorce can be processed officially and legally.
However, many clients do find that they have misplaced their marriage certificate over time and often ask if it is necessary to provide it – unfortunately, it is.
Read on to find out why providing a marriage certificate is important and how you can get another copy if you have misplaced it.
Why does the court need your lost marriage certificate?
Your marriage certificate needs to be supplied to the court along with the papers for divorce that have normally been prepared by your solicitor (called the petition), so that the court has an official record of the marriage.
Once your divorce is granted, the court will keep the original marriage certificate and issue you with a Decree Absolute which is proof of your divorce. It is important that you keep this document safe as you will need it if you ever wish to marry again – as well as for some tax and pension purposes.
The Decree Absolute is a formal record that you were married, to whom, when and where the marriage took place, as well as that the marriage was ended legally by the court.
What to do if you have lost your marriage certificate?
Don’t worry! This is not something that will derail the whole process. Many clients find that after a long marriage, or even a couple of house moves, that their marriage certificate is hard to locate.
However, you can apply for a replacement marriage certificate from the General Register Office (GRO) to proceed with a divorce.
How do I get a replacement?
You can apply to the General Register Office for a replacement marriage certificate, which will cost £9.25. There is also a Priority Service with next working day delivery for £23.40 – ideal for those who wish to get the process sorted quickly.
The General Register Office can also supply you with copies of birth, death, adoption and civil partnership certificates.
Be aware that the process for obtaining a copy of your marriage certificate is slightly different in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Information regarding the Scottish procedure can be found here, and the Northern Irish process can be found here.
You may want to read this article too – Can I get Divorced without my Lost Marriage Certificate UK?
About the Sheata
Sheata Karim is the Principal Solicitor and Founder of Grayfords, a family law firm based in central London.
After over a decade of working in family and niche law firms, Sheata used her expertise and specialist knowledge to start her own practice.
Sheata created her own firm so that she could instil her values of client care and satisfaction into every area of the business. Her motto is to envisage yourself in the perfect future, and that is what she will help you achieve.
With experience in all areas of English and international family law – including divorce, financial issues and child matters – Sheata really is an expert in her field.