OFFICE FOR MARRIAGE


The work of this office is the processing of marriage papers – worldwide - for couples where the Catholic party, at least, is resident within the Archdiocese of Birmingham.


The aim is to help and assist priests, deacons and couples in the preparation of marriage documentation.

You can contact this office; preferably by e-mail or letter:
            e-mail: [email protected]
            Post:    Office for Marriage, Cathedral House, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6EU
            Tel:      0121 230 6242 (voicemail facility available)
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 09.00-16.00*
 

 
 
Frequently Asked Questions 


Q:        What paperwork do I need to submit to the Office for Marriage?
A:         A fully completed pre-nuptial inquiry form and additional supporting documentation depending on the couple and the type of marriage.
   
 


Q:        When should I contact the Office for Marriage?
A:         For marriages within the Archdiocese please forward documentation as soon as it is completed.
 
Marriages taking place outside the Archdiocese of Birmingham need particular attention so you are asked to submit all documentation as soon as possible.
 


Q:        Should I include original documentation?
A:         Unless requested please only send in photocopies of original documentation.
 
Photocopies of the following are acceptable, Civil notice of marriage (blue papers), all certificates, ie - baptism, marriage, divorce, marriage-prep, dissolution/nullity, death, etc as appropriate.
 


Q:        How is permission for a marriage between a Catholic and a baptised Christian obtained?
A:         In the Archdiocese of Birmingham permission for a mixed marriage is given either by the Archbishop’s Delegate for Marriage or the Dean, Parish Priest of the Catholic party.
 
            Please complete the section relating to mixed marriage in the pre-nuptial inquiry form.
 


Q:        How is permission for a marriage for a Catholic and an un-baptised person obtained?
A:         This is an impediment to marriage.  So for validity a dispensation from disparity of cult must be granted by the Archbishop’s Delegate for Marriage.
 
 


Q:        What happens if there is doubt about the baptism of the non-Catholic party?
A:         Please submit the doubt to the Archbishop’s Delegate for Marriage.
 


Q:        Are there any other impediments to marriage?
A:         Yes, these are listed in the Code of Canon Law (canons 1083-1094).
 
NB:  The impediment of prior bond is of Divine Law and applies to all persons.  It cannot be dispensed; in other words a person is only free to marry if their previous spouse is deceased or a tribunal has issued a dissolution or annulment of that union.
 
 

Q:        Before whom should the couple marry?
A:         In accordance with canonical form and for validity a couple must marry before the local ordinary or by the parish priest.
 
With the appropriate delegation a couple you may marry before another priest or deacon provided delegation is granted by the parish priest.  To be valid this delegation must be given expressly to a named person indicated on the pre-nuptial inquiry form.
 
The Archbishop’s Delegate for Marriage also has competence to grant this delegation if needed.
 
 


Q:        Must couples marry in their parish church?
A:         Ordinarily marriages are to be celebrated in the parish of the Catholic party.
 
            The parish priest can request a dispensation from this canonical form which would enable the couple to marry elsewhere.
 
This dispensation is required for the validity of the marriage.  In all circumstances a request for this dispensation is made to the Archbishop’s Delegate for Marriage.
 
 


Q:        Can invalid marriages be rectified?
A:         A marriage may be invalid because of a defect of consent, form or some other impediment which existed at the time of the marriage.  The parish priest can request that such marriages be validated.  For validity, such convalidation is granted by the Archbishop’s Delegate for Marriage.
 
 


Q:        Are there extra requirements for marriages outside of the Archdiocese of Birmingham?
A:         Marriages outside of the Archdiocese require additional information and therefore the pre-nuptial inquiry form, along with supporting documentation (see Documents section) should be sent to the Archbishop’s Delegate for Marriage as soon as possible.
 
 


Q:        Are there any costs?
A:         These will be discussed with you by your parish priest.  As from 1st April 2015 there will be a charge, payable by the couple, for documentation presented to the Office for Marriage.   The charge will be £30 for local/UK marriages. However, if the paperwork is to be processed for an overseas marriage the cost will increase to £50.
Cheques to be made payable to The Archdiocese of Birmingham.