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Awan-Legal, Solicitor
Category: UK Family Law
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Hello, My wife is french but has lived in the uk for 12yrs.

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Hello, My wife is french but has lived in the uk for 12yrs. We married in France 2yrs ago but neither of us lived there for 40 consecutive days. Is our marriage legal?

Awan-Legal : Hi
Awan-Legal : One of the requirements is that the registrar is satisfied that one of you lived in France for 40 Consecuive days before the wedding so it depends on whether it is a retrospective finding. If the registrar has already performed the marriage, then the chances are that it is valid but it depends on the French laws. If you check with the French authorities where your marriage was registered whether this has been registered as a valid marriage, then it will be valid within uk law also.
Awan-Legal : The crux is that the french authorities must confirm that this is a registered valid marriage.
Awan-Legal : The foreign commonwealth office state in respect of this as follows:
Awan-Legal : Three important pointsA religious ceremony cannot be performed until AFTER the civil marriage.A French civil authority (mairie, adjoint, or conseiller municipal) performs the civil ceremony in the town in which one of the parties to be married has resided for at least 40 days immediately preceding the marriage.Publication of the banns in the town hall (mairie) where marriage will take place is compulsory in France. Most mairies take approximately 4 –6 weeks to process an application. Requirements will vary for each mairie, therefore, it is essential that you first meet with them in order to determine their exact documentary requirements and terms of validity (documents may need to be issued less than 3 months prior to date of marriage or publication of banns).A marriage performed in France under French law is recognised in the UK.
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