A court marriage is an economic marriage where the parties solemnise their marriage before a Marriage Registrar and three witnesses. In a court marriage, couples belonging to different religions, castes and nationalities can solemnise their marriage in a simple process. The court marriage takes place as per the process laid down under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 (‘Act’). The marriage officer in whose jurisdiction/area the bride or bridegroom resides registers the court marriage and issues the marriage certificate.
Process of Court Marriage
The process of court marriage to be followed by the bride and bridegroom are as follows:
- The bride and bridegroom should give a court marriage application form, i.e. a notice of the intended marriage as per the second schedule of the Act, 30 days before the intended marriage date to the marriage officer.
- The couple must give the court marriage application form to the marriage officer in whose area the bride or bridegroom has lived continuously for 30 days or more.
- The marriage officer will publish the notice of the intended marriage by affixing it at some conspicuous place in the marriage office.
- Any person can object to the marriage on the ground that it would violate any conditions required for the marriage under the Act. However, the objection to the notice of the intended marriage should be made within 30 days of its publication by the marriage officer.
- If any objection is received before 30 days of notice of the intended marriage, the marriage officer would have to enquire into it within 30 days and decide on the solemnisation of the marriage.
- If no objections are received to the marriage, the couple should appear before the marriage officer after 30 days of submitting the notice of the intended marriage, along with three witnesses for the solemnisation of the marriage.
- The couple should submit a declaration in the form provided in the third schedule of the Act, which the marriage officer should countersign.
- The marriage officer will solemnise the marriage, issue the certificate of marriage, and enter the details of the marriage in the marriage certificate book. The parties and three witnesses should sign the certificate.
Contents of Court Marriage Application Form
The bride and bridegroom should enter the following details in the court marriage application form (notice of intended marriage):
- Current residing address
- Permanent residential address
Sample of Marriage Application Form
Documents Required for Court Marriage Application
The documents required to be submitted by the couple along with the court marriage application are as follows:
- Separate affidavits from the bride and bridegroom containing the following details:
- Date of birth
- Marital status – widower/unmarried/divorcee
- Affirmation that the couple are not related to one another within the degree of prohibited relationship
- Passport-size photos of the bride and bridegroom
- Residential proof of the bride and bridegroom
- Proof of date of birth of the bride and bridegroom
- Copy of the notice of the intended marriage signed by the couple
- Copy of divorce order, in the case of a divorcee and death certificate of a spouse, in case of a widower/widow
The documents required to be submitted by all the witnesses are as follows:
- Passport size photo
- Copy of PAN card
- Copy of identity proof
Bride and bridegroom belonging to any religion can have a court marriage. The process of court marriage is simple. The bride and the bridegroom must submit the court marriage application, and if there is no objection, they can marry before the marriage officer. The certificate of marriage issued by the marriage officer is conclusive proof of the marriage.
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