Marriage certificate translation
It may be possible for you to get divorced in the English Courts even if you were married abroad. However, if your marriage certificate is written in a foreign language, you will need to provide an official English translation, as well as the original certificate, when you issue your divorce petition.
We can arrange marriage certificate translation (for most languages), as well as all supporting documentation required by the court, usually within seven to fourteen days of receiving your order. We can also help if you simply need a translation of your marriage certificate for your own use (rather than for divorce proceedings).
You can get divorced in England and Wales even if your marriage took place abroad, subject to two conditions. Firstly, your marriage must have been valid under the laws of the country in which it took place. Secondly, the English courts must have jurisdiction to accept your petition. It is important for you to check (before ordering our undefended divorce service) that your spouse accepts that the marriage was valid and that the English courts have jurisdiction.
If these conditions are satisfied, you must then prove the validity of the marriage to the court by lodging an original certificate of the marriage or an original certified copy of such a certificate obtained from the appropriate register office with your divorce petition. A photocopy of either document is not acceptable– it must be an original.
Replacement Marriage Certificate
If you need to obtain a replacement marriage certificate for a marriage which took place in England and Wales, visit the General Register Office website. If you need to obtain a replacement marriage certificate for a marriage which took place abroad, you will have to contact the appropriate authorities in the country concerned to find out how to do so. We do not provide these services.
Marriage Certificate Translation
If your marriage certificate is not in English, you must lodge an accurate translation with your divorce petition. This translation must be certified by a Notary Public or be authenticated by a statement of truth (i.e. the translator must sign an additional document in front of a Notary Public confirming that the translation is accurate, or a document stating his/her belief that the translation is true and correct). You will need to have in your possession the original marriage certificate, the translation and the notarial certificate or statement of truth before your divorce petition can be issued. We recommend that you order a statement of truth for use in English divorce proceedings, since this is cheaper than a notarial certificate but equally acceptable to the court.
Why else might you need this service?
You may need your marriage certificate translated for reasons other than a divorce - for example, to show to a foreign government office or a foreign court. In this situation, we would advise you to order a notarial certificate rather than a statement of truth, since the qualification and office of Notary Public are recognised internationally. If in any doubt, you should check what is required with the organisation which has requested the translation before using our service. If you just need a simple translation of your marriage certificate and nothing else, we can deal with that too.
What we do
We will obtain the translation and supporting documentation for you cheaply, quickly and painlessly - and in a form acceptable to the court, avoiding any procedural difficulties.
What we do not do
If you need a marriage certificate translation service for any other purpose, we may not be able to help. Please contact a family law firm such as josiah-lake gardiner LLP for further advice.
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josiah-lake gardiner is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.