Predatory Marriage


A predatory marriage typically involves a situation where one person does not have the required mental capacity to consent to marriage but is led into it and taken advantage of by the other party, to secure financial or other gains.  ‘Predators’, who intentionally target and groom vulnerable, often older individuals, take advantage of the fact that entering into a marriage will revoke any existing will, so when the vulnerable partner dies, the ‘predator’ inherits their estate.

What are the signs or indicators?

There are various signs or indicators that of predatory marriage including:

  • grooming and coercion of an adult at risk;
  • use of a dependent relationship to isolate the individual from family and friends;
  • harassment of existing family and friends to alienate them;
  • in some cases, a large age difference.

What can be done?

Below are some actions that can be taken:

  • if the marriage has not yet taken place, concerns can be raised with the registrar
  • concerns should be reported to the Local Authority  via a safeguarding adult referral and the police via 101
  • the case can be raised for guidance with the Forced Marriage Unit and consider applying for a Forced Marriage Protection Order
  • advise family to take specialist legal advice

Learning Resources

There are indications that predatory marriage is a growing issue.  Below are links to resources to find out more:

More Information

Detailed information can be accessed via the following links: