What is a statutory declaration of freedom?

One thing we see a lot of here at Marley Solicitors is people needing Statutory Declarations.  In particular, a Statutory Declaration of Freedom for people who are getting married.  But there are lots of other circumstances in which you might need this service.  So here is a little more detail and a few things you might need to know.

Statutory declarations

A statutory declaration is a formal statement made affirming that something is true to the best knowledge of the person making the declaration.  They are generally used to satisfy a legal requirement or regulation when no other evidence is available.

Statutory declarations need to be totally truthful and accurate.  A solicitor other than the one acting for you in a legal matter would typically be expected to deal with the statutory declaration.  This is to ensure that it is valid on the grounds of being totally impartial.  Other people authorised to verify legal statement of this nature would be A Commissioner for Oaths or A Notary Public.

Some examples of when you might need a statutory declaration are:

  • When changing your name as a method of legally adopting the new name.  So it can be used on documents like passports or driving licences.
  • When a financial institution needs to to transfer money to people legally entitled to deal with the estate of a deceased person.  For example, executors of a will.
  • Declarations of identity, nationality or marital status in cases where other documentary evidence is unavailable.
  • By company directors declaring solvency, when going into voluntary liquidation.
  • When affirming the provenance and nature of goods for export or import.
  • Declaration statements as to the originality of an item as part of a patent application.

Statutory declaration of freedom

A Statutory Declaration of Freedom is just the same.  But in this case declares that an individual has never been through any form of marriage, be that civil or religious. These declarations are often needed when marriages are to take place overseas.  Or often, a Church may request one when marrying within the UK.

Getting married overseas

Certain countries will require you to prove your status and freedom to marry.  This is usually by way of an affidavit or sworn statement such as this Statutory Declaration of Freedom.  It’s important to check the requirements which apply to your circumstances.  Pay particular attention to the time scale when you apply for a Declaration of Freedom for your planned marriage.