Court Marriage: A Legal Knot

Updated on April 06, 2024 08:07:09 AM

Court Marriage in India is a legal procedure where two people get legally married in the presence of the magistrate. In this modern era, court marriage emerged as a beacon for those who want to get married without the hassle of a traditional ceremony. This legal procedure takes 30 days to complete the whole procedure and the ceremony is conducted in court in the presence of the judge.

However, the marriage is valid and the couple can get married in a religious ceremony if they wish. In this article, you will get proper knowledge regarding Court marriage, its stepwise legal procedure, required documentation and fees.

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What is Court Marriage?

Court Marriage is solemnising the marriage as per the law to give it legal validity. There are some legal procedures for court marriage. The marriage must be between two persons where the male must be at least 21 years old and the female must be 18 years old. Court marriages as the name suggests are the marriages that take place in the court in front of the Registrar.

A court marriage is conducted in the presence of the Marriage Registrar. Also, people of any religion and caste can marry each other provided that they are not related as per the forbidden degrees of the wedding. An individual can marry even a foreigner if he/she has Indian nationality. A court marriage allows Indians to marry foreign individuals given that they are not married in their own countries. But there are different laws to govern them. Let us have a look at them.

Laws that Govern Court Marriages

In India majorly two laws i.e. Hindu Marriage Act and Special Marriage Act govern the court marriages in India.

  • Hindu Marriage Act, 1955: The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 applies to all forms of Hinduism and also recognizes offshoots such as Sikhs, Jain, and Buddhists. This Act also applies to everyone who is a permanent resident of India and is not a Muslim, Jew, Christian, or Parsi by religion.
  • Special Marriage Act, 1954: Whereas, the Special Marriage Act, 1954 basically deals with inter-caste and inter-religion marriages and therefore, applies to marriages among Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jain, and Buddhists. This Act extends not only to Indian citizens belonging to different castes and religions but also to Indian nationals living abroad. This act applies to every state of India, except the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Stepwise Procedure of Court Marriage

The whole stepwise procedure of Court marriage is as follows:

1. Notice of Intended Marriage

The very first step for court marriage is to give 30-day prior notice to the Registrar. It must be in specified format with the provisions of Section 5 of the Special Marriage Act and submitted to the Registrar of the District in which one from both resides.

2. Publication for any Objections

After receiving the notice, the registrar put it into display for any objections against it. If no objection is raised against the marriage then, process starts ahead. If any objection is raised and proved to be valid then the court marriage could not be processed further.

3. Marriage and Sign of Declaration

The bride, groom, and two witnesses have to sign a declaration form in the presence of the marriage registrar or at a location that is reasonably close to the registrar's office (as mentioned in Section 12 of the Special Marriage Act). The declaration has to state that the parties are proceeding with the court marriage, with their consent.

4. Certificate of Marriage

If all the formalities are completed, the marriage registrar specifies the details of the court marriage in the court marriage certificate.This is as per provisions mentioned in Schedule IV of the Special Marriage Act. The certificate takes 15-30 days for issuance.

Required Documents for Court Marriage

As per the Special Marriage Act,1955 the documents needed for the partners are explained below. Since the Special Marriage Act allows one partner to be a foreigner, the documents needed in that case are quite different.

In the case of both Indian Partner

  1. Four Passport Size Photographs
  2. Residential Proof
  3. Date of Birth Proof
  4. Application Form
  5. Two Witnesses(Both Major)
    1. Identity Proof of Witness
    2. Permanent Resident Proof of Witness

In the case of both Foreign Partner

  1. A copy of passport and visa .
  2. A certificate of NOC or marital status certificate from the concerned embassy .
  3. One of the parties should produce documentary evidence regarding a stay in India for 30 or more days (proof of residence or report from the concerned SHO).

Key Differences Between Court Marriage and Marriage Registration

However, marriage registration all seem to be quite similar. But do not be mistaken. Marriage Registration and Court Marriages are two different terms with completely different meanings.

Marriage registration defines a state where the couple is already married and seek to legalise their marriage in the eyes of the law through registering their marriage. On the contrary, Court marriage is a ceremony which takes place in the presence of the Marriage Registrar and does not need to prove the legality of the marriage.

Court Marriages take nearly 30-days prior notice to the registrar where in Marriage Registrations, no such notice is needed.

Since the sole purpose of both the terms is the same, we mean legalising the marriage in the eyes of law is the ultimate goal of marriage registration and court marriages.

How can “Litem Legalis” help you?

Court Marriage is a legal procedure that requires legal assistance. If you also want to go for this hassle-free marriage procedure, the “Litem Legalis” will be your best choice. Litem Legalis is a team of experienced lawyers who intend to provide legal guidance to their clients.

There are other several reasons given below that make your choice clear:-

Free Legal Advice

Free Legal Advice

Expert Lawyers

Expert Lawyers

Lowest Fees

Lowest Fees

Quick Process

Quick Process


In terms of matrimony, court marriage is an outstanding display of simplicity and legality. It provides couples with an easy way to formally join without having to worry about complex ceremonies because of its streamlined process and legal legitimacy. Through comprehension of the process, necessary paperwork, and related costs, people can easily and confidently traverse this momentous life milestone. Accepting a court marriage gives couples the confidence, legality, and clarity to start their journey together.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to do Court Marriage?

In order to proceed with a court marriage, partners need to fill out an application, have their eligibility confirmed, post a notice, get married in front of the registrar, and get a marriage certificate.

What is the Procedure of Court Marriage?

The court marriage process entails filing an application, having one's eligibility confirmed, publishing a notice, solemnizing in front of witnesses, and issuing a marriage certificate.

How many witnesses are required for the court marriage?

The couple required two witnesses for the court marriage, who must be along with the couple during the whole marriage procedure. The age of these witnesses must be 21+ if they do not meet this age criteria they will not be considered as witness.

What documents are required for the Court Marriage?

Age proofs, Identity proofs and other relevant documents such as a Divorce decree or death certificate if the couple’ are divorced or widow/widowed are the documents that are required during the Same Day Court Marriage.

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