Posted by Patrick Hart, Partner
On 1 September 2016 Withy King LLP merged with Royds LLP. The trading name for the merged firm is Royds Withy King. All content produced prior to this date will remain in the name of the firms pre-merger.
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, same sex couples have been able to marry, as an alternative to entering into a civil partnership, since 29 March 2014.Now new rules have 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 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.
Meanwhile, same sex couples who wish to convert their civil partnership into marriage will be able to do so from Wednesday 10 December 2014, subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary legislation.
The government confirmed on 3 July that the fee for converting a civil partnership to a marriage which is expected to be £45 in almost all cases would be waived for one year from 10 December.
The government is also acting to ensure that the conversion of a civil partnership to a same sex marriage would not revoke, or affect any bequest in a will made by the civil partners before the conversion.
Gay couples may find it useful to take legal advice on how the introduction of same sex marriage and the various changes to the law accompanying this might affect them.
Royds can advise on matters including the differences between a same sex marriage and civil partnership, and in relation to putting in place agreements about financial arrangements, either before or after the civil partnership or marriage.
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