Dutton Gregory Banner Image
News and Events

Five Fact Friday - Valentine's Day

Five Fact Friday - Valentines Day

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Five Valentine’s Day facts
For people to view

1. “Under loves heavy burden…”

February 24th was officially declared the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day by Henry VII in 1537 through a Royal Charter. 

About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year (including around 1,000 sent to Verona and addressed to Juliet, which is problematic given her age) and about 58 million lbs of chocolate is given as gifts.  On average, around 220,000 wedding proposals take place on Valentine’s Day. 

Reports in the United States claim that lawyers see a 40% increase in divorce enquiries in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, with about two-thirds of those enquiries coming from women.  There is also research to suggest that couples who marry on Valentine’s Day are 36% more likely to divorce.

2. “For never was a story of more woe…”

Although Valentine’s Day is largely celebrated around the world, there are some specific laws regulating its celebration in some countries. 

Muslims in Malaysia (who account for about 60% of the population) are prohibited from celebrating Valentine’s Day.  In Pakistan, although celebrations are not technically banned, media outlets are largely prohibited from broadcasting any content with a romance theme.  Celebrations are prohibited altogether in Iran and Saudi Arabia and demonstrations of affection by unmarried couples in those countries can lead to a prison sentence. 

3. “Do not swear by the moon, for she changes constantly”

Those thinking of getting engaged this Valentine’s Day might be interested to learn that engagements are not a legally binding promise of marriage.  What can be more complicated, however, is the issue of who owns the ring. 

Ordinarily, the ring will be treated as a gift and therefore the property of the receiver.  But, if the ring is given on the condition that it should be returned if the wedding does not go ahead, it has been successfully argued that the ring remains the property of the giver until such time as that marriage occurs or it is returned.

4. “Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it”

Here’s a warning not to forget Valentine’s Day. 

In England and Wales, a divorce will be granted on proof of one of five facts.  Three of those facts require that the couple have been separated for at least two years.  The two facts that do not require this period of separation are ‘adultery’ and ‘unreasonable behaviour’.  As adultery requires an admission and this is rarely forthcoming, ‘unreasonable behaviour’ is by far the most commonly cited ground for divorce.  Examples of what can constitute unreasonable behaviour are wide-ranging but could (and, indeed, have in some cases) include forgetting Valentine’s Day among other things.

5. “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast”

Up until the Clandestine Marriage Act 1753, it was legal for people to get married in any location, so long as the ceremony was performed by an ordained clergyman.   However, as this often led to secret marriages and bigamy, the aforementioned act was introduced along with other laws over the years which served to ensure that nobody under the age of 21 could marry without the consent of their parents/guardians (the age of consent is now 18) and that marriages could only take place in a church, and that Banns must be read beforehand. 

With five offices across Hampshire and Dorset, Dutton Gregory provides legal expertise and dedicated client service. We work closely alongside both individual and corporate clients to achieve successful outcomes.

If you wish to speak to a member of our team, email them today at contact@duttongregory.co.uk or call your nearest office.