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All You Should Know About Court Marriages In India

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Court marriages in India is a trend which refuses to settle down. Though it is something which is not new, and not many people would go this way to get married, but as the level of education, awareness and obviously cost of nearly everything rises, again young couple plan their wedding at a courthouse and give an elaborate joint reception. But the question is if people know enough about it to actually think of it as a viable marriage option!

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Court marriages in India are governed by — the Special Marriage Act, 1954, which provides for marriage by civil ceremony between parties belonging to different religions. Even parties of the same religion may, however, choose a court marriage over rituals and ceremonies.

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Court Marriage Procedure

  • A notice is given to the officer of the district stating your intention to get married at least 30 days in advance. This may be in the form of an application too. Also, at least one party must have stayed for 30 days immediately before the date when the notice is served. For example, if the male and female are in Delhi, but wish to marry in Chandigarh at least one of them must travel to Mumbai 30 days before the intended date and live there until the date of the marriage.

  • Publication of the Notice. Both the to-be bride and the groom have to publish a copy of the notice in the office of the district where the other party permanently resides (if any).

  • Objections to marriage: Anybody can raise an objection to your marriage and if they are applicable as per chapter II of section 4 of the act above, then the officer has to investigate the objection. If the objection holds true, the marriage cannot be solemnized if not, then the path is clear!

  • Signing the Declaration: This declaration is a legal document which the bride and the groom sign stating that they are not married (or are widowed or divorced) and are getting married with a will. With this, 3 witness each from both sides are required to sign too.

  • Place of marriage: Any place can be chosen, provided it is at a considerable distance or convenient for the officer to travel with the full arrangement.

  • A marriage certificate is signed and presented to the new couple!

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No Previous Marriage Valid:  Neither party should have a living husband or wife. Any previous marriage should no longer be valid.

Valid Consent: Both parties should be competent to give valid consent. The parties should be capable of speaking their mind and entering into a marriage of their own will.

Age: The male must have completed 21 years and the female 18 years of age.

Fit for Procreation: Neither of the parties should be unfit for the procreation of children.

Prohibited Relationship:  Parties should not be within degrees of prohibited relationship as provided in Schedule I; however, if the customs and traditions of the religion of any one of the parties permit so, then it shall be valid.


This pretty much all we need to know about court marriages in India. So if you are full with your share of the big fat Indian wedding, then do give this a thought and have an economical way to weddings!

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