Our website is set to allow the use of cookies. For more information and to change settings click here. If you are happy with cookies please click "Continue" or simply continue browsing. Continue.

Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

27 MAR 2006

MARRIAGE: Alfonso-Brown v Milwood [2006] EWHC 642 (Fam)

(Family Division; Singer J; 27 March 2006) [2006] 2 FLR 265

The wife claimed that a ceremony undergone in Ghana, in accordance with the customary law of the Ga people, had been a marriage ceremony; the husband claimed that it had been an engagement ceremony only. The ceremony had been conducted almost throughout in the Ga language, which the wife spoke, but the husband did not. If the ceremony had been one of marriage, the marriage would have been bigamous and therefore void, but the wife would then have been able to pursue financial claims against the husband.

On the facts there was no marriage of any kind, as under the customary law of the Ga people, the ceremony could only result in marriage if there was intention that it should do so; intention to marry was a necessary ingredient. Not only had the husband lacked the necessary intent, but at the time of the ceremony neither of the parties intended or believed that the ceremony was anything other than an engagement ceremony, notwithstanding some unusual features, of whose significance the husband would not have been aware.

Family Law Online

Family Law Online

Get a FREE trial today! The fastest way to access the latest law reports, case law, commentary,...

Available in Family Law Online
Family Law Reports

Family Law Reports

"The unrivalled and authoritative source of judicially approved case reports, covering all areas...

Available in Family Law Online
Subscribe to our newsletters