Family Law Hub

A Local Authority v X & Anor (Children) [2013] EWHC 3274 (Fam)

LA seeking a declaration of non-recognition of a marriage which had taken place in Pakistan against the will of the girl, who was 14 at the time and soon after became pregnant.

  • In brief: "X" had been born in England in 1997. Her parents had immigrated to England from Pakistan some 40 years before. In 2011, aged 14, X travelled with her father and brother to Pakistan where, under duress, she underwent a marriage ceremony. The marriage was consummated and X became pregnant. She returned to England and the baby was born in autumn 2012. The local authority commenced care proceedings in relation to X and her baby. 

    Within the care proceedings, the local authority sought a declaration of non-recognition of the marriage in Pakistan. The court found that as X was domiciled in England at the time of the marriage, the validity of the marriage was governed by the Marriage Act 1949. As the Marriage Act 1949 states that a marriage between persons either of whom is under 16 shall be void, the marriage was found to be void. 

    Therefore, Mr Justice Holman confirmed that in the event X chose to present a petition, the court could pronounce a decree of nullity on the ground that the marriage was void. However, having regard to s. 58(5) Family Law Act 1986 which places a statutory bar on any court declaring a marriage void at its inception, the court refused to grant the declaration sought by the local authority.

    Read the full text of the judgment here

Case note, published: 14/01/2014


Published: 14/01/2014


Copyright in the original legal material published on the Family Law Hub is vested in Mills & Reeve LLP (as per date of publication shown on screen) unless indicated otherwise.


The Family Law Hub website relates to the legal position in England Wales and all of the material within it has been prepared with the aim of providing key information only and does not constitute legal advice in relation to any particular situation. While Mills & Reeve LLP aims to ensure that the information is correct at the date on which it is added to the website, the legal position can change frequently, and content will not always be updated following any relevant changes. You therefore acknowledge and agree that Mills & Reeve LLP and its members and employees accept no liability whatsoever in contract, tort or otherwise for any loss or damage caused by or arising directly or indirectly in connection with any use or reliance on the contents of our website except to the extent that such liability cannot be excluded by law.

Bookmark this item