Legal Marriage



Q. We are planning a Registered Marriage in 2 months. How do we start the formailities?

You have to file an application before the Registrar of marriages in your district (where either one of you has resided for a period not less than 30 days). This application is placed at the notice board of the Registrar's office and objections, if any, are invited. If no objection is received within 30 days, the marriage may be solemnized under the Special Marriage Act 1954.

Q. How many witnesses are required to register a marriage,? What all documents have to be produced?

3 witnesses at the office of the marriage registrar on the date of solemnizing (both of bride and groom can produce the same witnesses). 

The documents required are 
a) Proof of age
b) Proof of residence
c) 2 passport size photographs

Q. Do we require a Lawyer?

Yes. A Lawyer's guidance is appreciated.

Q. Being an NRI, how to register our marriage in any if the Indian cities?

Hindu marriage can be registered at the registrar's office in whose jurisdiction; the marriage was solemnized, under sec.8 of the Hindu marriage act, on payment of the prescribed fee. You will both have to affix your signature, to the form.

Q. I am having a Hindu Marriage. Do I need to register the marriage on the same date? What are the formalities involved?

The marriage need not be registered on the same day, but at the earliest. You and your spouse have to visit the office of the Registrar of Marriage with proof of marriage (invitation card, ration card, proof of age and three witnesses). The marriage can be registered in the jurisdiction (where the marriage took place or where either one of you reside) after completion of prescribed form i.e. Form D, Memorandum of Marriage.

Q. Does a ceremony need to be performed for a marriage to be valid under the Hindu Marriage Act?

There can be no valid Hindu marriage unless a ceremony is performed. Under the Hindu Law, there can be registration of a marriage unless a valid ceremony is performed.

Q. After marriage what legal steps should a couple take?

After marriage every couple is advised to make a will bequeathing their estate in order to avoid ambiguity or disputes relating to their property in the unlikely event of untimely death. One may also review their nominations under insurance policies, society or club memberships, provident fund, shares and other securities. Intestate succession (i.e. succession in case of deceased leaving no will), to the estate of a Hindu is governed by the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and allied laws. While intestate succession to the estate of persons of other faiths is governed by the Indian Succession Act, 1925.

Q. Is the Special Marriage Act applicable only if it is an inter-religious marriage.

No. Parties to a marriage have the option of either marrying under their respective religious laws (Hindu Marriage Act, Indian Christian Marriages Act etc) or under the Special Marriage Act. If the parties choose that they will not marry under any of the religious laws or if it is an inter religion marriage, they can opt for registering their marriages under the Special Marriage Act.

Q. What are the conditions for a valid marriage under the Special Marriage Act?

The parties to a marriage have to be consenting adults i.e. the Bridegroom should be over 21 years and bride over 18 years. The parties should be unmarried and within the degrees of a prohibited relationship. Financial status, caste and religion of either party does not matter. 

Q. I do not plan to change my maiden name after marriage. Do I need to indicate this to the Registrar of Marriages?

No, the same is not required. There no legal requirement for women to change their name or surname post marriage.