Marriages of convenience

Other Names:
High mobility marriages

A marriage of convenience is a marriage contracted for reasons other than that of love and commitment. Instead, such a marriage is entered into for personal gain, hiding one's homosexuality or some other sort of strategic purpose, such as a political marriage. There are some cases in which those married do not intend to live together as a couple, and typically got married only for one of them to gain the right to reside in a country, meaning a marriage of benefit.

In many cultures, it is usual for parents to decide their adult children's marriages; this is called an arranged marriage. A marriage of convenience that is neither a sham marriage entered into for fraudulent purposes nor a forced marriage is not against the law.


A Belgian report investigated marriages in which foreigners marry Belgians to acquire residency rights. It found that Antwerp courts annulled 114 marriages of convenience during the period 1990 to 1997. Liege courts annulled 59 cases during the same period.

Illegal marriage
Society Marriage
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
23.04.2019 – 14:52 CEST