A sham marriage is a married entered into to deceive society or a government agency about the couple’s intended purpose. Sometimes the marriage is referred to as a fake or fraudulent marriage. There are different types of sham marriages. One type is considered a “marriage blanc.”
The term marriage blanc is French for “white marriage.” This marriage is one that is not consummated by the spouses. Consummation means the couple went through all the proper steps to get legally married and then had sexual intercourse afterward. In a marriage blanc, the couple never engages in sexual intercourse after the marriage ceremony. However, the couple continue act in public as if they had a legal marriage.
Consummation may be a requirement where one or both of the spouses expected to engage in sexual intercourse after they are married. Not having sexual intercourse after a marriage ceremony can be grounds for an annulment or divorce where this expectation existed. The lack of consummation may also be an indication that there is some form of fraud happening, such as engaging in a sham marriage for inheritance purposes or to fool an insurance company.
A marriage blanc could be the result of either one or both spouses not wanting have sexual intercourse after the wedding or:
Yes. An annulment is a court proceeding dissolving a marriage because of one or more reasons, including not consummating the marriage.
Yes. If the marriage is considered a sham for a specific purpose such as to fool immigration officials, the couple can face criminal charges. The criminal charges related to immigration fraud include:
Yes. A family attorney will explain the legal ramifications of entering into a marriage blanc to defraud people or public officials. The attorney will also explain your legal rights if your spouse decides not to consummate your marriage.
Last Modified: 12-11-2015 04:17 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.