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, or some other sort of strategic purpose, such as a political marriage. Cases where those married do not intend to live together as a couple, and typically married only for one of them to gain the right to reside in a country, are considered to be sham marriages. In many cultures, it is usual for parents to decide their adult children's marriages; this is called an arranged marriage.

Marriages of convenience that are sham, and arranged marriages that are forced, are against the law in many jurisdictions.


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
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST