Concept for - Can I throw my marriage certificate away?

In the United Kingdom, a marriage certificate is the official document that confirms two people are married. It states the parties’ names, the date of the marriage, the place of the marriage and the names of the witnesses to signing the certificate.

Applying for a divorce

Once separated from your spouse you may feel that you do not need to keep hold of the certificate anymore. However, to apply for a divorce you will be required to upload a scan of your marriage certificate in colour ensuring that all four corners can be seen, and all text is clearly legible. If you do not have your marriage certificate, you can obtain a copy of it online from the website.

The court can request to see the original after the photograph of the marriage certificate is uploaded so you should not dispose of it during the divorce process.

If the marriage was conducted abroad and the certificate is in a different language, then you will need to get it translated to English before submitting your divorce application. A certified translation of the marriage certificate must also be uploaded with the scan of the original.

We explore the divorce application further in this article ‘No Fault Divorce – apply for a joint or sole application?’. Please click here to read more.

During the divorce process

You should make sure that you keep your marriage certificate safe until the divorce has been finalised by receiving the Final Order. At any time the court could request to see the original.  Until the Final Order has been received, you will remain married.

After you are divorced

Once you are divorced and you have received the Final Order and financial Consent Order, it is important to remember that while you may wish to destroy your marriage certificate, it may be needed for future purposes such as evidencing a change of name for a passport application.

In addition, remember that if you decide to destroy your marriage certificate and require a copy in the future, you will have to pay for it. It should also be highlighted that the Final Order and Consent Order should be kept in a safe place in case you have to refer to them in the future.

If you would like any further advice on how to start the divorce application or the process in general, please contact our Family Law team who will be happy to assist you.