Marriages are an integral part of any person’s life. Some like to celebrate grandly while some like to keep it small and private. Either way, marriages are memorable for everyone. Court marriages are also one of the ways of tying a knot.
Court marriages in a country like India is quite a popular and easy way of marriage. Under the ‘Special Marriage Act 1954’ two individuals can get married by simply going through some paper formalities. It is a simple and economical procedure. Here you will know all about court marriages in India.
What is the meaning of Court Marriage?
In India, Court marriage is solemnized either by the Marriage Act of 1954 or The Special Marriage Act. According to these marriage Acts, two people belonging to the opposite gender can get married in a court only if the girl is above 18years of age and the boy is over 21years of age.
Court marriage can be solemnized between two parties belonging to the same or two different nations, irrespective of their caste, religion, or race.
The Hindu Marriage Act comes in force only if both the individuals wishing to get married are Hindus. In the case of inter-caste marriage, court marriage is conducted under the Special Marriage Act.
Court marriage is pretty simple but it requires some simple formalities beforehand. Here is the step-by-step guide of how one can go through the court marriage procedure in India:
Step-1: Giving a prior notice: The very first step begins with giving a prior notice of marriage to the Marriage Registrar of the district. It is called ‘The Notice of Intended Marriage’. This is done by filling a court marriage application form that is available at the office desk or can also be downloaded from the Indian government’s site. The application must be filed 30days before the date of marriage to make an appointment.
Step-2: Displaying the notice: This is an official step where the registrar will publish the notice of marriage at the office. This notice is to invite objections. Within the 30days period of notice, anyone can object to the marriage by giving legitimate reasons in the eyes of the law.
Step-3: Marriage Day: As the notice expires after 30days and it gets no objections, the bride and groom are welcomed at the court for marriage registration on the appointed date. The bride and groom are supposed to visit the court along with 3 witnesses for the declaration.
Step- 4: Certification: The marriage will be solemnized at that particular marriage office. After the signatures and other rituals, the registrar will register the marriage and the marriage certificate will be issued after 15-30days.
Following are the essential documents required for the whole process of court marriage:
- The prescribed form duly filled by both the parties in the correct manner.
- Receipt of the registration fee paid at the desk.
- 2 passport-sized photograph each
- Date of birth proof like 10th or 12th certificate, Aadhar card, PAN card, ration card, driving license, etc.
- Residential proof of both the parties (PAN or Aadhar card)
- If either of the two-party is a divorcee, widow or widower then they must attach the proof document of it.
Benefits of court marriage in India
Court marriage is a simple way of getting married and is beneficial too. Here are benefits of court marriage over traditional marriage:
- Simple procedure: The traditional marriages in India are big, they require a lot of hard work and money for just that one day. The court marriage procedure is simple. It requires some documents and a few witnesses. It doesn’t require a lot of beforehand preparations.
- Economical: India has a history of big marriages and the cost of which is majorly beard by the bride’s family. It is a huge burden and the root cause of many illegal practices in the country like dowry. Spending a huge amount of money on a marriage is not worth it. Court marriages are more economical and are not at all heavy on the pocket especially for the bride and her family. Court marriage is the best way to kill unnecessary marriage expenditures.
- A faster way of getting married: Traditional marriages demand months of preparations for just that single day of marriage. So many bookings and expenses. It hassles the bride and groom and their families and is super tiring. Court marriages are faster and don’t require much preparation. If you decide on marriage, you can have it done within 30-50 days in the court marriage procedure.
- Prevents child marriage: Child marriage is a crime and many rural areas of the country are still indulged in it. Since court marriage requires a lot of documentation and has its rules and regulations where the bride and groom’s ages must not be below 18 and 21 years respectively, child marriages are effectively prevented.
- Prevents hoax marriages: Hoax marriages for money or citizenship of a country is a common practice. Court marriage ensures that no hoax marriage happens. Their documentation and protocol is such that no random Indian or foreigner can get married fakely.
- Freedom intercaste marriage: Many of the communities in India are still against inter-caste marriages and that is unconstitutional. Any two individuals not belonging to the same caste or community can legally get married in the court. It is a big advantage for people from two different communities to get married by their own wishes.
- Legal security: In a court marriage a woman is legally and financially secured. Since this marriage is totally under the eyes of the law, the legal benefits to women are increased. In a country like India where women’s domestic exploitation is a major issue, legal security is a boon.
Is court marriage good or bad?
Court marriage has its pros and cons as viewed by each individual. Some like it the grand way while others like it to be in a simpler and moderate way. Court marriages are good because it not just gives you a partner but also offers social and legal benefits.
It is unbiased and treats every religion and caste equal. Though it is not suitable for the one who likes to celebrate their D day in a grand way it surely is a faster process with fewer complications and gatherings.
Marriages are made in heaven but the way you would like to perform the enticing is your call. Court marriages are definitely simpler and have a smooth procedure rather than having a traditional wedding which is heavy on the pocket and takes a lot of effort and preparation.
Court marriages are socially and legally accepted and in fact come with many more pros to look upon as mentioned above.