Same sex Brits offered new opportunity to marry abroad

Another significant change has come into force for same sex couples who wish to marry.

Under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, which completed its journey through Parliament in July last year, same sex couples have been able to marry, as an alternative to entering a civil partnership, since 29 March 2014.

Last month, new rules came into force that allow same sex couples to marry at British consulates in 24 countries.

The Consular Marriage and Marriages under Foreign Law Order 2014, which took effect on 3 June, and means that same sex marriages can take place at British Consulates in Australia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Japan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, and Vietnam.

This list is limited because British overseas missions can only provide a same sex marriage service in countries where British nationals could not have such a marriage under local law and where the local authorities have given permission for consular marriages of same sex couples.

Hannah Kelly, who heads Palmers’ Family Law team, said: “At Palmers, our family law experts can advise gay couples on the legal issues involved in entering a same sex marriage or civil partnership, including assisting in putting in place agreements about financial arrangements, either before or after the civil partnership or same sex marriage. We can also advise on the importance of making a will.

“Latest figures available from the Office for National Statistics suggest that around ten per cent of civil partnerships end in dissolution, the equivalent of a divorce, and when relationships do break down, our experienced family law team can provide sensitive, practical advice to help clients make informed decisions on the way forward. For more information, please contact our Family Law team.”