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Harris, Family Law Expert
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2851
Experience:  Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters
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Good aftrenoon, My wife and I have been separated for over 5

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Good aftrenoon,
My wife and I have been separated for over 5 years and I am now seeking a divorce which I am sure will not be contested.
The problem however is that we were married in a Sharia court in Bahrain (although neither of us are Muslim), We are both British citizens and I was living and working over there. The marriage certificate has been lost, there is no record of the marriage in the GRO records and although I have been in touch with a solicitor in Bahrain no record of the ceremony has been found.
Do I need to produce a copy of the certificate to proceed with a divorce ?
Many thanks
Alex Agnew

Hi, thank you for your question. As long as the marriage was legal in Bahrain and either of your reside in England or Wales a divorce can be pursued here. The court will need to have the original marriage certificate and a certified copy of this and you should make all efforts to attempt to have a new one issued. However, if you have attempted all avenues and still cannot obtain one, you will need to simultaneously apply to court for leave to proceed with the divorce without a marriage certificate using form D11 and a £155 court fee. This must be accompanied by a statement and as much evidence as possible to demonstrate that a marriage took place (such as venue booking, photographs, cards etc) as well as detailing what efforts you have made to obtain a further certificate together with documentary evidence. It will then be for a court to decide whether to grant leave to pursue the divorce.

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