A contract to marry differs fundamentally from a commercial contract,2 since it creates a status that affects both the parties themselves and the society to which they belong. It is sui generis. It is fulfilled on the solemnisation of the marriage ceremony, and thereafter there is a change in the law that governs the relationship between the parties. There are many different situations in which the existence of a marriage must be established as a preliminary to legal proceedings. The matter may concern many different parts of the law. Thus the institution of a...
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