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Family Law

Forced Marriage Protection Order

By definition, a marriage is a "Forced Marriage" if it takes place without the full consent of one or both parties - This is not something to be confused with an arranged marriage. Being forced into a marriage is an abuse of a person’s human rights and by law, it cannot be justified for cultural or religious reasons.

Force marriage come in a variety of ways:

  • Threats, actual physical violence and/or sexual violence
  • Emotional and psychological force (for example when someone is made to feel like they are bringing shame on their family)
  • Financial abuse (for example demanding someone should account for all the money they spend)
  • Forced marriages also include situations in which someone is not able to understand what they are consenting to - This can be the case where a person has learning or physical disabilities that make communication difficult.

In 2007, the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007 was introduced and this can act as a means of protection for any person who is being forced into marriage and/or those who have already been forced to do so. The order made by the court can contain any such restriction, prohibition or requirement that the court thinks fit in any individual circumstance. Commonly, such orders will be to prevent removal from the UK for the marriage to take place, prevention of others from aiding and encouraging the forced marriage and/or prevention of any physical or sexual abuse in any such forced marriage. You will need to apply to the court for a protection order and, if granted, any breach will be deemed criminal offence.

At Pabla and Pabla Solicitors, our family lawyers can advise you fully on whether you qualify to make an application for protection, how this can be done and how best to proceed.

If you are concerned that you or someone you know is being forced into marriage or is at risk of being forced into marriage, speak to one of our Family Solicitors as soon as possible. There are things that can be done and legal processes in place to protect people from marrying against their will. A Forced Marriage Protection Order issued by the Court is one way of safeguarding a person who is about to be or has been forced into marriage.

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