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marriage

1. The relationship between husband and wife.
2. A ceremony, civil or religious, that creates the legal status of husband and wife and the legal obligations arising from that status (see *marriage ceremony). All marriages must be registered by an authorized marriage registrar. The minimum age for marriage is 16, and capacity to marry in general is governed by the law of *domicile of both parties before the marriage. Relationships within which marriage is prohibited are specified in the Marriage Act 1949, as amended by the Marriage (Prohibited Degrees of Relationship) Act 1986 (see *prohibited degrees of relationships). Parties to a marriage must be respectively male and female as determined at birth (sex-change operations have no legal effect), must not be already married to someone else (see *bigamy; *polygamy), and must enter into the marriage freely. See also *marriage by certificate.

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