There are four conditions regulating marriage in Belgium. Firstly, regarding the maturity required to perform this important act, the minimum age to get married is 18 years of age. Secondly, both partners must clearly express their consent. Although a person under protected status cannot legally give consent, a judge can still allow the marriage. Thirdly, future spouses must not be closely related. Therefore, they must not be relatives in a direct ascending or descending line (parents and children). Moreover, they must not be relatives in a collateral line to the third degree (siblings, uncles and aunts with nieces and nephews, first-grade cousins). Finally, Belgium strictly prohibits bigamy, a person may not get married if he or she is already married. This rule also applies to foreigners marrying in Belgium who come from a country where this is legal. Furthermore, either one of the future spouses must be Belgian or living in the country for over three months, with proof. Since June 2003, marriages are authorized between same-sex couples.
Rights and obligations concerning marriage in Belgium
In 2018, more than half of Belgians felt that marriage was simply not for them or just a piece of paper. Nonetheless, getting married in Belgium comes with certain rights and obligations. These duties relate to cohabitation, fidelity, and from a moral perspective, care and assistance. Although a decline was registered in the country from 2007 to 2020 over 21.3 thousand divorces were pronounced in 2020. In Belgium, spouses can file for divorce by mutual consent. Divorce can also be introduced on the grounds of inconsolable differences. Such differences are deemed inconsolable when it is reasonably impossible for the spouses to live together.
Average duration of marriages in Belgium from 2008 to 2021
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Statbel. (October 18, 2022). Average duration of marriages in Belgium from 2008 to 2021 (in years) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved September 26, 2023, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/524548/average-duration-of-marriages-in-belgium/
Statbel. "Average duration of marriages in Belgium from 2008 to 2021 (in years)." Chart. October 18, 2022. Statista. Accessed September 26, 2023. https://www.statista.com/statistics/524548/average-duration-of-marriages-in-belgium/
Statbel. (2022). Average duration of marriages in Belgium from 2008 to 2021 (in years). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: September 26, 2023. https://www.statista.com/statistics/524548/average-duration-of-marriages-in-belgium/
Statbel. "Average Duration of Marriages in Belgium from 2008 to 2021 (in Years)." Statista, Statista Inc., 18 Oct 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/524548/average-duration-of-marriages-in-belgium/
Statbel, Average duration of marriages in Belgium from 2008 to 2021 (in years) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/524548/average-duration-of-marriages-in-belgium/ (last visited September 26, 2023)
Average duration of marriages in Belgium from 2008 to 2021 (in years) [Graph], Statbel, October 18, 2022. [Online]. Available: https://www.statista.com/statistics/524548/average-duration-of-marriages-in-belgium/