Forced marriage protection orders
What is a Forced Marriage?
A marriage is supposed to be a very happy event, enjoyed by family and friends and looked back on with great fondness as the years go by.
In an arranged marriage, the families of both parties take a leading role in arranging the marriage. The decision whether or not to accept the proposed marriage remains with the prospective parties – and no force is involved.
However, a forced marriage is planned against the will of the bride or groom. It takes place without the full and free consent of both parties. And, either one, or both parties will have been subjected to duress or threats to force them to marry.
A marriage will also be considered forced if you had agreed to it but only because you felt you could not say no.
The majority of forced marriages occur in the Muslim culture, but forced marriage affects a wide range of communities, including: Irish Traveller, Turkish, Roma, Afghan, South Asian, Kurdish, Iranian, Arab and African communities.
Remember that forcing a person into a marriage is a criminal offence. It often involves the breaking of multiple laws and the breaching of many human rights violations. A forced marriage is something that the police and the courts take very seriously.
What are Forced Marriage Protection Orders?
There is protection for you if you are being forced into a marriage against your will. Under the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, marriage can be legally “entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses”.
We very much hope that this fact puts your mind at ease if you are going through such a tense and unhappy situation. Call us for a free consultation – we are here for you. The marriage does not need to have already happened for you to receive protection.
If you feel you are in immediate danger, call 999 now.
Never forget that you have the right to choose who you marry, when you marry, or if you marry at all.
A Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO) can be put into place to prevent a person or people forcing you into an unwanted marriage. It can prevent them from making any wedding arrangements or from taking you out of the country.
It can also forbid your perpetrator from doing certain things such as being physically violent and contacting you directly or indirectly. The injunction can also require the person/people named in the Order to hand over their passport/s to the court.
Where the victim is a child being taken out of the country for a forced marriage, the High Court can make an order which gives the legal system parental responsibility. This means they can ensure the child is protected when they are returned to the UK.
Who can obtain a Forced Marriage Protection Order
You can apply for the Order in person, or through ourselves, social services, or someone that you know.
If you’re concerned that someone close to you is being forced into a marriage, you can apply for an FMPO. As you’re not the victim, you’ll need the court’s permission and to prove your relationship to the victim. They will assess the circumstances and, if possible, ask the victim what they think about the application, to decide how best to protect them.
At Ashmans Solicitors, our team of dedicated, hard-working experts will give your case the attention it needs and deserves. Our Family Law Team are experts in every aspect of forced marriage and can take fast effective action.
If you are financially eligible you will qualify for Legal Aid – please see our page on Legal Aid.
Ashmans Solicitors Family Law Team advise those people who are seeking help with obtaining a Forced Marriage Protection Order.
Please lose no time in getting in touch with us.