You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.

Forced marriage now a criminal act

A forced marriage takes place when one or both spouses do not consent and do not want to get married but are coerced into it by others, usually by their family, people they look up to, or their community. Someone can be forced into a marriage through physical, psychological, financial, sexual or emotional pressure.

A new law criminalising forced marriages comes into effect today.  It is now a criminal offence to use violence, threats or any other form of coercion for the purpose of causing another person to enter into a forced marriage.  The change also criminalises forcing a British national into marriage outside the UK.

Forcing someone into marriage in England and Wales will carry a maximum seven-year jail sentence under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

If you are affected by any of the issues in this article and would like some confidential advice please contact Miles & Partners on 0207 426 0400 and ask to speak to someone in our family team.

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.