For an application to be made for ancillary relief (a financial settlement on divorce), there has to have been a valid marriage in the first place. On that simple point a woman’s application to file for divorce and claim ancillary relief was recently refused by the court. The judge had watched the ‘wedding video’ of a ceremony carried out in South Africa and concluded that there was no valid marriage. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision.

Not all foreign wedding ceremonies are recognised as valid marriages in the UK. If you are considering getting married abroad, check the legal position beforehand as the rights of married persons and people whom the law considers to be merely living together are very different.