This information document from the Library of Commons deals with when polygamous marriages can be legally recognized; Immigration; Social benefits and pension rights. However, this does not mean that a person who currently resides in England and Wales cannot be married to more than one person. If, at the time of marriage, they were domiciled in a country that allows multiple marriages and the marriage took place in a country where polygamy is legally recognized, British law recognizes the validity of the marriage to more than one person. As such, polygamous households can and do exist in the UK. Multi-party marriage is illegal in most liberal democracies. This means that in these societies there are people who want to be polygamous, who are unable to legally enter into the form of marriage they desire, to receive the legal benefits of marriage or to bond with the group of people they would like to have. Nevertheless, liberals generally believe that the state should not interfere in a person`s choice of social agreements unless there are compelling reasons to do so. Migration to the UK has clearly contributed to the rise of polygamy, but we do not yet know how this practice will affect our population or demographics. Migration and the possibility of multiple residences can open the window to new opportunities for multiple partners or polygamous relationships. The non-recognition of marriages between foreigners could also contribute to an increase in polygamy. This is true when a couple marries with a nikah ceremony (an Islamic ceremony in which marriage is legitimized in God`s eyes) in a country where no additional registration is required for the marriage to be legal, such as in Pakistan.
The UK does not recognise a nikah ceremony held in England and Wales as a valid marriage, so parties should be aware that the law will not consider them valid until civil registration legalises the marriage. Given the problems associated with polygamy, the justification of liberal democracies prohibiting star polygamy seems reasonable. In particular, the main problems of these marriages that I would like to highlight are the following: webbed marriage would allow those who want to have multi-person weddings to do so without worrying. In a webbed marriage, anyone involved in a relationship must be legally married to all other members of the relationship. Each person would sign the terms of a collective marriage contract, thus creating a matrimonial network: a legally binding contractual relationship between them and any other person in the relationship. After the establishment of this first contract, the legal consent of all spouses would be required before other persons would be allowed to join the matrimonial network. If a spouse wanted to divorce the Internet at any time, the terms of the original contract were changed. Therefore, the other spouses would have to legally agree again if they wanted to continue to be part of the web.
These provisions mean that in a palmated marriage, any person can veto any proposed change in the structure of the matrimonial network, unless he or she can prevent other members from leaving the marriage. In 2017, MEWSo conducted a pilot project with the University of Greenwich to investigate how polygamy can be better recognized, what problems it causes, and how it can help practically. See our report Polygamy Matters: Creative Workshops with Women in Polygamous Relationships. To be recognised as valid, all marriages contracted in the UK must be monogamous and contracted in accordance with the requirements of the relevant legislation. For a polygamous marriage to be considered valid in the United Kingdom, the parties must be domiciled in a country where polygamous marriage is permitted and the marriage must have been contracted in a country that allows polygamy. At present, there may be good reasons to keep polygamy an illegal star. However, marriages between several people should generally not be avoided. The great advantage of this would be that polyamorists could finally get married. A recent survey of 4,000 polyamorous people found that nearly two-thirds would be willing to marry multiple people if it were legal (“What do polys want?” 2012). This would be an important new option for many. Therefore, palmed marriage, if properly designed by local policymakers for their own context, could represent a non-problematic form of marriage that is ideal for polygamists and deserves serious consideration for legalization in today`s liberal democracies.
Olive Craig, a family lawyer who provides legal advice to women in the area of family law for women`s rights, said there are more and more cases like Akhter`s. The presence of a spouse in the United Kingdom as a visitor, illegal entry or temporary entry are not taken into account in the examination of an application by a polygamous spouse. The warnings come after the government intervened last week through the attorney general in a landmark case to overturn a family judge`s ruling that a woman had the right to seek child support even if she was not legally married. The starting point of this contribution was the seminar “Marrying out” for love: women`s narratives of polygyny and alternative marriage choices in contemporary Senegal. Polygamy in Senegal is described as a feature of immutable patriarchal traditions among Muslim communities. Extended values, a large family, learning to share between children and generosity underlie the continuation of polygamous behaviours. Kringelbach`s research shows a different perspective, namely that “women`s increasingly frequent decision to `marry` is in many cases explicitly associated with painful life experiences with polygamy.” But what does this analysis suggest in the case of Colombian men? It is clear that their legal relationship does not fall into the same category as fundamentalist polygamous marriages; From what we can learn about their relationship, she doesn`t seem to suffer from any of the above problems. This is largely because their relationship is not a star polygamy, but a polyamorous relationship. However, if a polygamous marriage is not valid under UK law, spouses who wish to formally terminate a marriage cannot obtain a divorce under UK law.
As a result, those who leave a disabled polygamous marriage are treated, in the eyes of the law, as if they had lived with their spouse, which can make them vulnerable in terms of dividing family property – such as income, property, pensions, investments and savings – and eliminate any potential rights to spousal support. There are other implications for people in polygamous marriages in terms of social security benefits, pension entitlements and inheritances. Currently, the legal consequences of being guilty of multiple marriages are up to seven years in prison and/or a fine. Nevertheless, crime is rare in the UK, with only 363 cases recorded by police between April 2015 and March 2020. “The government is always happy to refer minority women to puppet courts and parallel faith-based legal systems” The question then arises: should liberal democracies allow more people to marry? Should polygamy be legalized? To justify the illegality of polygamous marriage in modern liberal democracies, it would have to be shown that allowing it would cause significant harm. Successive governments have had a policy of preventing the formation of polygamous households in the United Kingdom. A UK resident cannot apply to a non-EEA citizen for permission to enter or stay in the UK as a spouse if another person has already received such permission and the marriage has not been dissolved. However, it is possible that all parties to a polygamous marriage are legally present in the UK. For example, a second spouse may be eligible to enter the UK under a different immigration category. There have been reports of Muslims practicing polygamy in Britain.  First, empirical evidence shows a troubling correlation between polygamy, as currently practiced, and harm to women, a link that judges in many countries have used to enforce polygamy prohibitions.
For example, in polygamous marriages, these women are much more likely to experience abuse, depression and poverty than monogamous marriages (Bala, 2011). Women are often unable to control the arrival of new wives by their husbands, contributing to feelings of helplessness and psychological abuse (Hassouneh-Phillips, 2001, 744). Activists say there is a growing problem that men “marry” women in religious ceremonies but refuse to legally register unions – and subsequently avoid a spouse`s financial and other obligations. In principle, there is nothing definitively problematic about the structure of polygamous star marriages.