Procedure of Court Marriage in India

हिंदी में पढ़ें
June 24, 2019
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty

Court Marriage in India is a very popular alternative for couples who want to keep their marriage affair simple and economical or with inter-religion/inter-caste background. It also acts as a sanctuary for couples going against the wishes of their family members. Unlike traditional marriage where numerous rituals and customs are followed, Court marriage is fairly a simple procedure, performed before a marriage registrar and few witnesses.

The Special Marriage Act, 1954 has laid down the concept of Court Marriage. It provides for marriage between couples belonging to different religion, caste or creed or nationality, by way of civil ceremony. It also solemnizes and registers a marriage, at the same time.

Connect with an expert lawyer for your legal issue

What are the conditions required to be fulfilled before proceeding with Court Marriage?

The Special Marriage Act, 1954 has laid down certain conditions that parties have to meet before mutually entering or signing the Civil Marriage Contract. These conditions are as follows: -

  • No party should have a subsisting valid marriage with any other person.

  • The age of the bride should be 18 years and the groom should be 21 years.

  • They should be of sound mind and able to give their valid consent for marriage.

  • They should not be unfit for marriage or procreation of children.

  • Both the parties should not, by any means, fall in the degrees of prohibited relationship as provided in Schedule I of the Act unless it is held valid in the customs or traditions of the religion of any of the two parties.

    Consult: Top Family Lawyers in India

What are the procedures of Court Marriage?

Filing Application or Notice of Intended Marriage
The parties need to file a notice/application in writing in the prescribed format provided in Schedule II of the Special Marriage Act.
The notice has to be submitted to the Marriage Registrar of the district in which any one of the parties has resided for at least 30 days preceding from the date of serving the mentioned notice.

Publication of Notice

After the notice has been filled, The Marriage Officer of the district to whom the notice has been served shall publish the notice.
The notice shall be published at a conspicuous place in the office and one copy in the office of the district where (if) the other party permanently resides.

No objection to the Marriage

Any person can raise an objection to the marriage to the Marriage Officer of the district on the specified conditions as mentioned in Chapter II, Section 4 of the Act. If the Marriage Officer receives any objection within the 30 days from the date of publication of the notice, the marriage cannot be solemnized.

Connect with an expert lawyer for your legal issue

Remedy for the couple, if objection is filed

Either of the party to the marriage can file an appeal at the District Court within the local limits of the district under the jurisdiction of Marriage Officer within 30 days from the date of the refusal to solemnize the marriage.

Solemnization of the Marriage

If no objection is received before the expiry of 30 days, the marriage will be solemnized at the Specified Marriage Office. The parties to the marriage must be present at the office along with 3 witnesses at the Office on the given date of Registration/Solemnization.

Marriage Certificate

The Marriage Certificate is issued by the officer in the specified format which has to be signed by both the parties and 3 witnesses. It is the conclusive evidence of the Court Marriage.

What are the necessary documents required for Court Marriage?

  • Application Form for Marriage in prescribed format along with specified fees

  • Passport size Photos of Bride and Bridegroom

  • Residential proof of the parties to the marriage

  • Proof of Date of Birth of both the parties

  • Address Proof and PAN Card of all the 3 witnesses

  • Death Certificate/Divorcee (optional)- in case either of the parties had former marriage history

    Consult: Top Family Lawyers in India

What are the documents required for ‘Registration of Marriage’?

  • Signed Application form for registration by both the parties

  • Passport sized photos of both & 1 marriage photograph

  • Proof of Date of Birth by the married parties

  • Proof of Residence as per the specified list of acceptable documents

  • Proof of Marriage - Certificate from a priest who solemnized the marriage

  • Proof of conversion, if any of the two parties is a convert (certificate from a priest)

  • Affidavit by both the parties declaring the truthfulness about their aforementioned particulars

  • Affirmation that both parties are not related to each other within the specified prohibited relationships

  • Copy of divorce decree/ death certificate of deceased former spouse, as applicable

Is a lawyer required for Court Marriage?

It is not mandatory but yes, a lawyer will be helpful in resolving any legal issues and guide you in filling or submitting the documents/formats involved in the procedure mentioned above. Also, if there is any apprehension of objection, hiring a family lawyer would be a wise move as one can help in filing appeals or fighting your case in the court on valid legal points.

Connect with an expert lawyer for your legal issue

What to do if other party is a foreign national?

If one party is of foreign national, then also marriage may be solemnized before the Marriage Registrar in India or Marriage Officer in a foreign country.
There are certain additional documents are needed:

  • Copy of Passport of both the parties to the marriage and their valid visa

  • Proof of stay in the concerned district in preceding 30 days or report from the concerned SHO

  • NOC or Marital Status Certificate from the concerned embassy or consulate in India by the party’s foreign partner, if any


These guides are not legal advice, nor a substitute for a lawyer
These articles are provided freely as general guides. While we do our best to make sure these guides are helpful, we do not give any guarantee that they are accurate or appropriate to your situation, or take any responsibility for any loss their use might cause you. Do not rely on information provided here without seeking experienced legal advice first. If in doubt, please always consult a lawyer.

Googling your legal issue online?

The internet is not a lawyer and neither are you.
Talk to a real lawyer about your legal issue.

Popular Family Lawyers

Advocate H Gouri Shankar
Dilsukhnagar, Hyderabad
23 years Experience
Advocate Sunil Kumar Bakshi
Sector-16, Faridabad
32 years Experience
Advocate J. P. Rinwa
Swej Farm, Sodala, Jaipur
18 years Experience
Advocate Bala Janaki
330 Thambuchetty Street, Chennai
34 years Experience
Connect with top Family lawyers for your specific issue

Family Law Articles

​Women, know your rights before getting married: Rights of daughters-in-law in India

Looking to adopt a child? Everything you need to know before adopting

Rights in live-in relationships

Abortion Laws in India

User Reviews

4.9 - 21 reviews

what is the procedure to register marriage?

Sonali on Oct 27, 2019

what are the documents to marry a foriegner through court marriage

Chandan on Nov 08, 2019

is it necessary to hire a lawyer for court marriage?

Ishita on Oct 22, 2019

marriage certificate what to do?

Puja on Oct 21, 2019

please share the procedure for taking appointment for court marriage

Babita on Nov 20, 2019

very well written

Surendra on Oct 21, 2019

good article. Can you share more detail

Sushil on Nov 20, 2019

very good article. Can you tell me more about the law?

Kailash on Nov 18, 2019

I want to know more about this law. Good work

Kunal on Nov 02, 2019

nice one. Please share more info

Mansi on Nov 21, 2019

Nice one.

Babita on Nov 22, 2019

very informative. Can you tell more about this

Swapna on Oct 25, 2019

very helpful and detailed

Vishnu on Nov 15, 2019

needed more information. Where to call?

Rashi on Nov 07, 2019

how to contact a lawyer for my legal case?

Vani on Nov 02, 2019

informative with the law.

Krishna on Nov 14, 2019

how to contact a lawyer from your website

Bharath on Oct 21, 2019

thank you for the article

Swathi on Oct 23, 2019

Thanks for the detailed article.

Swapna on Nov 23, 2019

needed some more information on the subject.

Harsha on Oct 29, 2019

learned all the basics about the legal issue. Good article. Keep it up.

Sudhakar on Nov 19, 2019