A marriage is the official union between 2 partners. For a marriage to be legal, a marriage must meet certain conditions.

Some people marry out of love, others marry out of practical reasons such as financial benefits, power, status or children. The marriage can be arranged, or take place because both partners choose to marry.

Marriage involves a commitment from both partners.

People can also end a marriage. This is called divorce.

A man and a woman getting married in a town hall

Arranged marriage

In an arranged marriage, the parents or other family members choose the person their children or younger relatives will marry. Both men and women can be married off.

The youngsters can often decide if they want to get married or not, but this is not always the case. According to the law in Europe, you cannot be married off to someone you do not want to marry. Forced marriage is forbidden by law. Everyone has the right to choose a partner. If you do not want to marry the partner who has been chosen for you, talk about it to someone you can trust, or ask for professional help.

Mixed marriage and marriage migration

A mixed marriage is a marriage between 2 people with a different cultural, ethnic or religious background.

Marriage migration means that one of the partners moves to the country where the other partner is living.

Same-sex marriage

In various European countries, people in a homosexual relationship (same sex) can also marry or enter into a legally registered partnership.

2 men getting married in a town hall

More information or help needed?

CAW - Centrum Algemeen Welzijn
Centre for general well-being - Help with all kinds of issues: a difficult relationship, medical, financial, administrative, legal or material problems, family problems,... CAWs also provide assistance to victims of violence and abuse. Find a CAW in your neighbourhood:
Information on marriage migration, mixed marriages and relationships, and gender
02 220 38 95
Réseau Mariage et Migration
Telephone number for questions regarding forced marriage
0800 90 901
Family doctor
You can talk to a family doctor about almost every intimate issue. If necessary the family doctor can refer you to a specialised health professional. Find a family doctor in your neighbourhood:
You can visit a family doctor in a community health centre. Other care professionals such as nurses and social workers also work at community health centres. Care is provided free of charge. Find a community health centre in your neighbourhood:
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