Marriage in Belgium: Rights and Obligations
Marriage in Belgium: Rights and ObligationsUpdated on Monday 28th November 2016
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In order to get married in Belgium both locals and foreigners will have to respect several compulsory steps. Some of the most important criteria related to this matter refer to the age of the persons getting married, which must be of at least 18 years old. At the same time, the parties will need to prove that they aren’t already married in another country. It is important to know that, starting with 2003, the local legislation recognises the marriages between persons of same sex. Our Belgian law firm can provide legal assistance or representation to those interested in getting married in Belgium.
How to get married in Belgium
The Belgian legislation allows mixed marriages, where a partner is a Belgian citizen, and the other spouse, a foreign national. Another way to get married here is if the person applying for a marriage certificate is a foreign person, but has obtained the Belgian residency for at least three months.
In particular situations, the Belgian authorities also allow the marriage of younger persons, with an age above 16 years old, but this can only take place if the parents have given their approval in this sense.
Regarding children, Belgium provides specific rules of law. In the case of a heterosexual couple, the father will automatically receive the parental rights, but in the case of a same-sex marriage, the partner of the woman who had a child has to adopt the respective child in order to legally become a parent. Our team of lawyers in Belgium can offer more details on the legislation.
Rights and obligations in a Belgian marriage
When getting married in Belgium, it is important to know that each party has the right to retain his or her family name, as here it is not compulsory for a woman to take the husband’s family name.
Children of a couple married in Belgium will receive the mother’s family name. The child can also receive the father’s name, if the father registered as the parent of the child at the moment of birth.
Persons who need more details on the rights and obligations of a marriage in Belgium are invited to contact our Belgian lawyers.