Benefits of Marriage Certification:

The most landmark case dealing with registration of marriages is the case of Seema v. Ashwani Kumar. In April 2005, the Supreme Court of India while hearing the Matrimonial suit number 104 titled Ashwini Kumar v. Seema made an observation that in large number of matrimonial suits over the years, unscrupulous people denied the existence of marriage by taking the advantage of unavailability of any official record of solemnization of marriage which leads to abeyance of proceedings. A division bench consisting of Justices Arijit Pasayat and S. H. Kapadia held the registration of marriages would be a step in right direction and consequently issued a directive to the state governments and union territories to take measures in the direction of compulsory registration of marriages within a span of three months.

The supreme court held in this case: “Though, the registration itself cannot be a proof of valid marriage per se, and would not be the determining factor regarding validity of a marriage, yet it has a great evidentiary value in the matters of custody of children, right of children born from the wedlock of the two persons whose marriage is registered and the age of parties in to the marriage.”

The conflict behind the motive of registration needs to be considered here. On One hand, the recommendation for registration seems grounded in reasons that advance protection to women’s rights if we consider the NCW report on the other by reading the decree of the court, we observe it rather stems from a need for uniformity and administration of marriage records in the country. Having a central law with penalties would be alarming in the context of our Nation, where there is still a lack of awareness and literacy about laws.

Why Marriage Certificate/Registration is necessary after marriage? 

Though an unregistered marriage is not illegitimate in our country, it is nevertheless considered essential for the following reasons:

  1. Last Name: Marriage registration acts as a proof of change of a party’s last name.
  2. Women Security: Marriage registration bars men from leaving their wives post marriage. They are bound to take care of their wives else they may be entitled to pay alimony or undergo stern legal procedure.
  3. Prevents Bigamy: Marriage registration prevents the husbands from indulging in bigamy or polygamy in the places or religions where it is considered illegal.
  4. Legitimacy of Child: It may come handy in case there are issues related to the legitimacy of your child.
  5. Divorce: Marriage certificate is required by the attorney in cases related to the alimony, custody of children and other divorce proceedings.
  6. Property Matters: It helps the widow/ widower in inheriting the property of his/ her deceased spouse.
  7. Settling Abroad: In case, a person gets a job abroad and wants to take his/ her spouse along then a marriage certificate is required to prove their relationship. This law is very stringent and there is no way you can get through without marriage registration.
  8. Socially Acceptable: Registering your marriage can aid in preventing child marriages as the certificate requires to state the age of the candidates along with the proof.

The marriage registration is quite an easy procedure in India. For marriage registration in India you may apply for the same at the office of the Sub Divisional Magistrate in the jurisdiction of whom the marital couple resides OR you could stop worrying and start living by simply taking the services of

Marriage Registration – General Documents Checklist

  • Date of Birth certificate of both the parties.
  • One wedding picture and two passport size photos of both the partners.
  • In case the marriage is solemnized in a temple or other religious place then a certificate from the priest who carried out the wedding rituals is required.
  • Ration card of the spouse whose area Sub Divisional Magistrate office is being visited for marriage registration.
  • Hindu/ Special marriage application form signed by both the parties.
  • Both the parties to submit affidavit confirming the date and place of marriage, marital status at the time of entering the wedlock, nationality and date of birth.
  • If one of the partners is from a religion other than Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist then the priest who solemnized the marriage is required to give conversion certificate.
  • If one of the parties is a foreign national then a no objection certificate is required from the concerned embassy.
  • An attested copy of the spouse’s death certificate in case of widow/ widower and a copy of divorce in case of a divorcee.
  • Marriage invitation card, in case it is available.

Please note that the marriage registration procedure and document checklist may vary to some extent, depending on whether you are applying under Hindu Marriage Act or Special Marriage Act.

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