Forced marriage is a term used to describe a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will. A forced marriage differs from an arranged marriage, in which both parties consent to the assistance of their parents or a third party (such as a matchmaker) in identifying a spouse, although the difference between the two may be indistinct.
The Government introduced a new law in November 2008 to help people who are being forced into marriage or have already been forced into a marriage. An application can be made to the court to obtain a Protection order to prevent the marriage from taking place. If the marriage has already taken place, an order can be sought from the court to void the marriage (in which case, the marriage will then be treated as if it had never taken place) or grant a divorce to end the marriage.
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