This blog answers the question “How To Declare A Partner Moving In?”A marriage certificate needs to be obtained from your local council’s register office to officially declare a partner moving in. This blog emphasises the value of remembering to plan a complete marriage ceremony at a legal venue, in the presence of 2 witnesses and a registrar for meeting the standards of a proper declaration.

How To Declare A Partner Moving In?

In order to declare a partner moving into your property to your council you need to go through a process of applying for a Notice of Marriage. The procedure to obtain a notice of marriage begins with an interview, following your approach to the council for registering your partnership. You and your partner will sign a “statement of intent” at your local register office which mentions that you both have agreed to go ahead with this union.

This notice of marriage includes both you and your spouse’s full names, proof of your partner’s current nationality, proof of both you and your future spouse’s age and evidence proving both of your current marital status. This notice is displayed on the local register office for a period of at least 29 days before your wedding ceremony. 

Obtaining the “notice of marriage” is a mandatory requirement for legalising a civil partnership or matrimony. Forced marriage is a criminal offense in England. This way of declaring a partner moving in with you leaves no doubt or shortage of evidence (provided to your council) regarding your collective consent to this lifelong unification of two souls .

How do I notify my local council about my marriage or civil partnership?

You have to sign a legal notice or partnership certificate from your local register office for informing your local council about your marriage. You and your partner may need to give notice of the marriage separately unless you are living in the same district council. This process has an interview. The following documents will be verified at the time of your interview:

  • A proof of residency document verifying your home address  (such as a utility bill) Proof of residence documents may also include bank statements from the past 3 months, an active National Landlords Association Tenancy Agreement or an (annual) mortgage statement from the last 12 months. 

Other acceptable proof of residency documents can be a copy of your recent council tax bill, a valid driving licence or a landlord reference letter also known as a landlord affidavit of residence, clearly stating their name, address and dated signature. This landlord reference letter should be written by your landlord within the last 7 days confirming that you live on their property as a tenant.

  • A valid passport. Passports for adults need to be renewed once every 10 years and those for children once every 5 years. In case you or your partner were born before 1st January 1983 you should both have your birth certificates as proof of residence instead of a passport.
  • Documents to prove any recent name changes by you or your spouse (such as due to the result of a dissolution of a recent marriage or civil partnership). These can include a photo driving licence or a deed poll

A notice of marriage is a signed legal statement (containing your joint intention to get married or enter into a civil partnership) which remains displayed on the local register office notice board in the 28 days prior to your marriage ceremony. The reference to 28 days in advance of your marriage date excludes the ending and starting dates mentioning the time period.

For Example if you give notice on 1st October, the earliest date you can get married or form a civil partnership is 30th October.

The maximum amount of time you can wait before conducting your marriage ceremony is 12 months. Your wedding ceremony must be performed within the 12 months of signing your marriage certificate for the notice to remain valid.

The notice of marriage must include the venue for your planned marriage ceremony. The notice also needs to mention the following details about the people getting married or forming a civil partnership:

  • The full names as given on all legal documents
  • Your partner or spouse’s current nationality. You are a British citizen if both of your parents were born in the UK. A birth certificate or original passport would be enough to prove each of your nationalities.
  • Your current marital status and your spouse or civil partner’s current marital status
  • Proof of your age and your partner’s current age. It should be above 18 years to qualify and is usually confirmed from a photo ID card (CitizenCard) or driving licence.
  • Proof of your immigration status and your spouse or civil partner’s immigration status. You can provide a residential certificate if you (or your partner)belong to a family from the EU or the European Economic Area. As evidence of your settled immigration status you can also show a certificate naturalisation as a British Citizen or an Immigration Status Document obtained after getting a “grant of leave” to enter the UK. 

           You can also use a “Certificate of Entitlement” (which has a fee of £372) as evidence of having a “Right Of Abode” status under the Immigration Act 1971. This certificate is not required if you and your spouse or civil partner both have a valid passport. 

 An Immigration Status Document will show whether you have a settled or pre status. You or your spouse can verify the status of their document online at www.gov.uk to confirm whether they qualify for a temporary residential status (pre settled status which is valid for 5 years) or a permanent (settled ) one.

In case your normal personal address is outside the UK, you will need to provide a family member or friend’s UK residential address instead. This address may also belong to your spouse or civil partner.

Why is it important to arrange a marriage ceremony when declaring a partner moving in?

It is important to arrange a marriage ceremony when declaring a partner moving in because the statement you have to sign ( along with your spouse or civil partner) at your local register office signifies your collective intent or desire to get married. This legal “statement of intent” is incomplete without giving details of your wedding venue and information regarding arrangements for the marriage ceremony. 

The first step in arranging a wedding ceremony is choosing the type of ceremony with input from both partners. Your family members or friends will pool in their suggestions regarding this decision. Every wedding reflects the values and interests of both partners. In some cases families have been planning their son or daughter’s wedding for years and can easily lay this out in the “statement of intent”.

What is the procedure for arranging a Church of England or Roman Catholic Wedding Ceremony?

You can arrange a Church of England or Roman Catholic Wedding Ceremony by following certain religious covenants. The steps for planning such a wedding are mentioned below.

Religious weddings which include a Roman Catholic Wedding Ceremony or a Church of England wedding ceremony need to be planned  in light of church or parish guidelines. The Church of England requires either one of you to have been baptised in the parish you are having your marriage ceremony.

  Other requirements which can replace the previous one include having lived in the parish   for at least 6 months, having parents or grandparents that got married at the same parish.

You may also have just simply been attending church ceremonies in the parish for a period of 6 months to qualify. These covenants can be discussed and verified by scheduling an interview (for both partners) with a priest.

  When getting married in a Church vows are exchanged with God as witness and of course the people attending your wedding ceremony. A Church wedding ceremony begins with a welcome from a local minister saying the words “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you”

This verse from the Gospel of John may be used for the wedding ceremony “…God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them”. Marriage vows exchanged in a Church of England ceremony act to strengthen the bonds of love and faithfulness between the partners. The guests at the marriage ceremony will remember this moment for the rest of their lives and will recall the events with joy years later when visiting the couple.

The official requirements which are necessary for a religious wedding ceremony include the presence of an ordained local minister as witness of the ceremony. The local minister will also be a signatory of the marriage schedule. In case there is no authorised person available to carry out these official duties, you need to book a registrar (which costs £86)

The Pre Cana (taking its name from the biblical wedding feast at Cana, Galilee mentioned in John 2 : 1-12) is the marriage preparation course for future Roman Catholic couples. You can register for one online here

 For Example in a certain Pre Cana course the first session deals with explaining topics from the Book of Genesis. The Second Session relates to the Sacrament of Matrimony including a talk on forgiveness between marriage partners. The Third Session explains the Catholic Rite of Marriage in detail. The Final session discusses relationship tools.

Other Pre Cana discussion topics may include children, ceremony planning, couple prayer and finances.

Canon law usually requires a wedding notification to be given 6 months in advance of the actual ceremony. The priest who will preside at your wedding will obtain both husband and wife’s baptismal certificates (which are 6 months old). 

The priest will also ask for both of your confirmation certificates and fill in your marriage schedule (as a registrar) You and your future spouse will be required to attend Marriage Care sessions (consisting of a 3 session workshop) before your marriage ceremony. A Roman Catholic marriage will also require both partners to attend mass for the 6 weeks leading up to your wedding ceremony.

 At a Roman Catholic Wedding Ceremony a full mass and communion is included in the wedding liturgy.As part of the wedding Entrance Rite, the priest and servers welcome the wedding party at the door of the church. The priest and servers enter the church first followed by the wedding party.

Once everyone has taken their places, the priest leads them to the sign of the cross (after the ceremonial song has ended) to perform the nuptial mass.

How do I arrange my wedding ceremony for declaring a civil partnership?

A civil marriage ceremony can be arranged for declaring a civil partnership. Such an event can be arranged at a Register Office or at a venue approved by your local council. A civil ceremony requires at least 2 witnesses to be present at the wedding. A registrar must carry out and be present at your ceremony.

A wedding ceremony is not a necessary requirement for registering a civil partnership. The occasion can just be a marriage contract signing event in the presence of a registrar and 2 witnesses. So it is not necessary to arrange for a special venue for declaring a civil partnership.

It costs £46 to book a registrar at a register office.

Declaring a Jewish Marriage 

A Jewish bride and groom can notify their council following the regular procedure with the exception of their wedding ceremony, which is usually arranged in traditional style. The”notice of marriage” will specify whether the marriage function will take place in a synagogue or somewhere else.

The date for a jewish wedding ceremony needs to be announced by the groom to the congregation at the synagogue a week in advance. The ceremony involves the reading out of a  blessing from the Torah. An Aufruf takes place at the synagogue where the wedding is scheduled to take place, on the Saturday before the actual event. This function involves a celebration of food and wine as well as tossing of sweets and raisins at the bride and groom.

The jewish wedding signing takes place in the presence of 4 witnesses. The Ketubah or jewish marriage contract (is sometimes read aloud)and signed underneath the chuppah. The chuppah is a canopy-like structure symbolising the future home of the couple. A chuppah can be purchased or hired for the wedding ceremony.

During the Ketubah signing the groom looks at the bride’s face and then commences with Bedeken (the veiling of his bride by the groom). The Sheva Brachot (or seven blessings) follow the taking of religious vows under the chuppah and the exchange of rings. Traditionally the jewish ring is made of metal (gold, silver or platinum) and should not have any stones in it.

At the end of the wedding ceremony the bride and groom are requested to step on a glass contained inside a cloth bag. They end up shattering the glass and at this moment the wedding guests cheer “Mazel tov!”(translated into english as congratulations)

At which venues can a marriage ceremony take place?

A marriage ceremony can take place at the following venues:

  • Any place of worship which has been listed as “registered for marriage” under the Marriage Act 1949 (by the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855)
  • At your local register office
  • At an authorised naval, military or air force chapel. The chapel should be listed under the provisions of the Marriage Act 1949 Act V (Marriages in Naval, Military and Airforce Chapels) as being licensed for hosting marriage ceremonies.
  • If both partners are Jewish the wedding ceremony can take place in a synagogue or at any other agreed venue as long as it takes place under a chuppah (pronounced hu-pah) structure. The chuppah can be bought at prices starting from £300 (it is seen by some as God’s spiritual presence under the canopy). A wedding chuppah can also be hired for your ceremony at rates as low as £250+VAT.

Conclusion

This blog post addressed the question “How To Declare A Partner Moving In” A partner moving in with you needs to be legally verified for council tax, benefits and other HMRC accounting purposes. This declaration of marriage makes the couple eligible for claiming several new benefits and also converts their legal status to a single entity. The marriage notification process is quite straightforward and can be explained in further detail by contacting your local council register office.

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below :

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : How To Declare A Partner Moving In?

What if I forget to add someone to my council tax bill, for upto a year after they start living with me?

You should inform council tax of any new occupants of your residence as soon as possible. The new persons change the calculation of your council tax benefits. The additional income they contribute to your own cannot be overlooked for the entire tax year.

You will be charged for their occupancy through fines for underpayment of council tax by HMRC, who is already aware of personal addresses through access to electoral records. So you might be sent an investigation letter or notice during the year for reporting this extra resident on your property.

How do I qualify for a job related discount on my second home?

If your second residence is job related and your employment contract requires you to live on the property, you can claim a council tax reduction of 50% on it.

In order to qualify for this council tax reduction you must prove that it is necessary for you to stay in that residence in order to perform your work properly (which could be related to the environment, facilities or exclusion from family). 

Or you must prove that it is common for other employers in your profession to provide workers second residences such as yours to aid productivity or performance. In the third case for your job related discount you need to prove that there are specific threats to your security and that this second residence provides you with special security arrangements

When making an application for this discount you need to provide the following:

  • A confirmation document stating that you are required to live in the residence because it is mentioned in your job contract
  • A tenancy agreement which shows that your employer has provided the home to you
  • A confirmation document which shows that your employer helps you to pay part of your second home’s expenses

Citations

Immigration Act 1971

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