Marriage is a social contract between two persons recognized by the law. In India, marriage is regarded as a holy institution. In India, weddings are joyous events often marked by elaborate décor, music, dancing, costumes, and customs.
Due to a lack of time in today’s fast-paced world, some people choose love weddings in Indian courts. The Special Marriage Act of 1954 defines court marriage in India as the legal approval of a union between two persons of the same faith or two distinct religions. Therefore, court marriage is a marriage that is solemnized in court, making it lawful. To execute a marriage, register a marriage, and get a court marriage certificate, interested parties may apply directly to the marriage registrar.
Conditions for Court Marriage in India
Chapter II, Section 4 of The Special Marriage Act 1954 lists several requirements that must be met before engaging in a registered marriage. As follows:
- No one who will be getting married should already be married. Any prior marriage should thus no longer be recognized.
- Both partners must be allowed to express their opinions and engage in a marriage of their own free will, without the influence of others. To grant legitimate permission, both participants must be of legal age.
- The bride must be at least 18 years old, while the groom must be at least 21.
- There should be no mental illness present in any of the parties.
What are the important documents that are required of the couple?
Here is a complete list of the documents required for court marriage:
- A properly completed and signed copy of the Marriage Application.
- Receipt of the fee for the District Court application form that was paid.
- Documentation showing the ages of both parties.
- Proof of each party’s residential address (Aadhar Card, Voter ID, Ration Card, or Driving License).
- The bride and groom both have two passport-size photos.
- A copy of the divorce decree in the event of a divorcée and the spouse’s death certificate in the case of a widow or widower.
- The parties’ declaration that they do not have a relationship with one another falls under the Special Marriage Act of 1954’s definition of a forbidden relationship.
Does the witness require any documents?
Let’s now move on and check the court marriage documents that the witness also needs to provide:
- Witness documentation includes one passport-size picture of the witness.
- The witness’s PAN card.
- Driving license or Aadhar Card as identification proof
What documents are needed by the foreign nationals?
Documents needed for foreign nationals include:
- The applicant must present the following papers in addition to those listed above if the marriage is solemnized between an Indian and a foreign national.
- A copy of the relevant party’s passport and visa.
- Documentary proof that one of the parties has resided in India for more than thirty days (residence proof or a station house officer’s report (SHO).
- A foreign partner must get a NOC or a marital status certificate from the relevant embassy or consulate in India.
What role does a lawyer play in court marriage?
Work of a Lawyer in online court marriage registration: A lawyer’s responsibilities in a client’s marriage in court are as follows:
- Filling out the notice of marriage is the first step in the court marriage process. Before filling out the marriage notification, the parties must visit their attorney.
- The advocate advises the parties on the relevant law and the location where the marriage can be registered. An advocate gives the parties a brief explanation of the marriage process in court.
- An advocate makes sure that the bride and groom are both of legal marriageable age and that all requirements for a judicial marriage are met.
What is the process of court marriage registration?
Let’s have a look at the court marriage process that you must be aware of before filling the application:
Notification: According to section 5 of the act, a notification must be issued to the marriage officer as the initial step in the court marriage procedure. It requires that the parties to the marriage notify the marriage officer in writing and in the manner specified in the second schedule of their intention to wed. The district in which at least one of the parties has resided for at least 30 days before the delivery of the notification is where the Marriage Officer must have jurisdiction.
Publication: This is the next part of the register marriage process. The marriage officer must post the notice in a visible location within his office to make it public. All authentic copies of notices must be kept by the marriage officer in the marriage notice book. The Marriage Officer must send a copy of the notice to the Marriage Officer of the location where the parties permanently reside so that it can be posted in a prominent location in his office if the parties are not continuously resident in the region within the jurisdiction of the Marriage Officer.
Marriage objection: Any individual may oppose a marriage under Section 7 because it would breach any requirements outlined in Section 4 of the Act before the Marriage Officer. The objection must be voiced within 30 days of published publication of the Marriage Officer’s notification. The marriage officer must note the specifics of the objection in the marriage notice book.
The parties and witnesses make a statement.
Before the marriage is solemnized, the parties and three witnesses must sign a statement in the manner outlined in the Third Schedule in the presence of the marriage officiant, who must then countersign the document. Documents Necessary:
- Each of the three witnesses should have a passport-size picture.
- Any record that the Marriage Officer needs to identify the witnesses (Driving License, PAN Card, etc.)
The location and type of solemnization
The court marriage may be performed by Section 12 at the office of the Marriage Officer or another reasonably close location.
I, (A), take thee (B) to be my lawful wife (or husband); each party should declare to the other party in any language understood by the parties, in the presence of the Marriage Officer and the three witnesses. Any type of ceremony can be used to officially declare the parties’ marriage.
Marriage Certificate: The marriage officiant records a certificate in the marriage certificate book using the format outlined in Schedule IV of the legislation. Such a certificate is conclusive evidence if both parties and three witnesses sign it.
What challenges does one encounter in a judicial marriage?
Contrary to traditional weddings, which involve extensive religious rites, months of planning, and customary customs, judicial marriages are often less complicated. The following are the few challenges that come with a court marriage:
- The dates for appearance and solemnization of the court marriage depend on the day the marriage officer allots for everyone. The marriage cannot occur before the scheduled date, even in an emergency (30 days after the notice is published only when anyone does not object).
- A valid objection can delay the marriage for a lengthy time, and the Marriage Officer’s judgment is final. The parties must file an appeal with the District Court for the same if the Marriage Officer upholds the objection.
- Since functioning internet portals are not available everywhere, the entire process must typically be completed physically by visiting the marriage officer’s office.
- To be qualified to provide notice to the marriage officer of that region or district, one must have resided there for at least 30 days. Therefore, in general, a person cannot file for marriage at a location other than where they now reside.
- Regional variations in the paperwork needed, the costs involved and the people designated as marriage officers. Generally speaking, it follows the laws established by the individual States.
The notice expires, and a new notice must be submitted to the marriage officer if the marriage is not conducted within three months of the date of delivering the notice.
- If one of the parties is Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, or Jaina and is a member of an undivided Hindu family, getting married through a court ceremony might be complicated legally since it will cause that party’s severance from their family. The Caste Disabilities Removal Act of 1850 would apply to the succession.
What is the cost of the court marriage procedure?
The cost of being married in court also varies from state to state, so each person must research the costs in the location where the wedding will take place. E.g., Around Rs.1,000 would be spent overall in Delhi’s SDM Court Saket. It also depends on the court of the city where you are filing the application. For example, the cost of expenses occurred in New Delhi will be more than the cost of marrying in Etawah.
How long does it take to finish the judicial marriage process?
It takes 60 days to complete the full process, commencing with providing notice. Providing that no objections are raised within 30 days of the notice’s publication date. The Marriage Officer has a maximum of 30 days to investigate if there are any objections. The District Court will hear the appeal if the Marriage Officer upholds the objection.
This is all you need to know about Court Marriage in India. Once you are confident about all the things then you can go ahead and file the process. Once your documents are all verified and checked, you will be easily able to move further and register your marriage legally.