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Consummation means the completion of a thing. Some common uses of the term “consummation” in a legal sense include:

  1. In the context of marriage, consummation means the actualization of marriage. It is the first act of sexual intercourse after marriage between a husband and wife. Consummation is particularly relevant under canon law, where failure to consummate a marriage is a ground for divorce or an annulment
  2. In the context of a contract, consummation occurs when everything required to be done in relation to a contract has been accomplished. As explained in this case, the place where the consummation of contract took place sometimes holds significance to determine the applicable law for the interpretation of the contract.
  3. In the context of bankruptcy, consummation means “substantial consummation” as defined in 11 U.S.C. section 1101(2) (popularly called the Bankruptcy Code). 

[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team