“Marriages are made in heaven and consummated on the earth,” said John Lyly. But, we humans redefined the sacred bond of marriage as chaos, crowd, pomp, and show. However, the modern generation has shifted back to simplicity and thus the most low-key court marriages have taken place in the last few years. Just so you know, the respected constitution of India allows two individuals to tie a knot in court under the ‘Special Marriage Act 1954’ through what we call “court-marriage”.
With a few simple steps, document formalities, and three witnesses, a court marriage can be solemnized within a day.
Nevertheless, there is always a debate on the pros and cons of court marriage in India. Therefore, we have created a guide that will walk you through all the possible advantages and disadvantages of court marriage in India.
Advantages of Court Marriage in India
The numerical graph of court marriages has witnessed a sharp rise in the last decade, this is because of the advantages it offers on the personal and societal levels. We have listed below some of the prominent advantages and cons of Court marriage in India.
1. It’s Economic
We all understand the strain that big fat weddings can pose on our pockets. We often witness people spending their whole lot of fortune on their weddings, but honestly, it benefits no one. On the other hand, court marriage in India is highly economical and affordable as they require no pomp and show; the simplicity of court weddings is their beauty. This way court marriages are helping to create a balance in society by providing a platform to marry without losing all your savings in matching the so-called standards of a grand wedding.
2. It’s Fast
Court marriages don’t involve many rituals and ceremonies. It is an official process that can be completed within a few hours if you have all your documents and witnesses ready with you. Henceforth, court marriage in India is totally hassle-free if you are eligible for court marriage.
Here-below, you can check the eligibility for court marriage:
- The parties should not have a husband or wife alive.
- The minimum age of the groom is 21 and the bride is 18.
- Both parties should have a sound mind.
- They both should be able to give valid consent while marrying each other.
- Any of the parties should not be suffering from insanity or mental disorder of any sort.
- The couple should not fall within the degree of a prohibited relationship. (but if their custom allows, some couples can marry within a prohibited relationship).
3. It Offers Legal Security
Most importantly, court marriages are completely legal, secure, and authentic because there are parameters set by the Governments of India to ensure the validity of marriage taking place in the court. The couple has to go through verification checks to eliminate the existence of illegal marriages in India. Since court marriage is registered under the records of law, the legal benefits of women increase and this cures instances of domestic exploitation and financial bias.
4. It Prevents Social Evils
India is in the captivity of social evils that are related to marriage such as dowry, child marriage, and forceful marriage but court marriage is a solution to all! Because it is conducted only after confirming the free will of the bride and groom, and this way it ensures consent of both parties. Thorough verification of age and residence is done before allowing to get married in court and this is why we should promote court marriage on a greater level so that the word “marriage” can truly represent its actual marriage i.e. bond for life and not burden for life.
5. It Eradicates Caste and Religion Barriers
Caste-system has done more harm than good. It was first introduced to create a working system to function the society better but it had eventually become the cause of discrimination. Due to caste and religious restrictions many couples have to face numerous problems while getting married and this is when court marriage comes to their rescue. The court doesn’t discriminate based on religion, caste, or beliefs and thus it allows two people from different religious backgrounds to get married and pursue their love for life by tying the nuptial knot.
Disadvantages of Court Marriage In India
The coin has two sides and so does court marriage. There are numerous benefits of court marriage in India, but it has few cons too. So, let’s comprehend some of the disadvantages of court marriage.
1. It’s Lengthy Process
To get married in court, you have to take several permissions from authorities and go under various verification checks. It can sometimes take 30-60 days before appearing in court with your partner to get married. As per the standard procedure of court marriage, the couple needs to wait for the publication of notice for the marriage. And, when there is someone to object to your marriage or application is not approved due to any reason, you need to start from scratch again. Therefore, in some complicated cases, it may require longer than normal to presume the marriage in court.
2. It Requires Too Many Documents
Court marriage is all about documents, and the scarcity of one single document can halt the entire process. On top of that, the list of required documents is quite long, thus collecting and submitting all those documents can be stressful. After providing the documents, each one of them is verified separately. The process of verification is quite delicate and failing to verify the authenticity of documents can lead you to legal troubles.
The majorly required documents for court marriage are:
- Address proofs of both bride and groom.
- Age proof of both parties
- PAN card and address proof of witnesses.
- 6 Passport size photos of both parties.
3. Compulsion of Witnesses
Court marriage in India cannot be solemnized without three adult witnesses who have to provide their identification proof as well. Therefore, sometimes it can be difficult to find three people who can show up as witnesses with their ID proofs when it is a matter of inter-caste or inter-faith marriage, especially when the family is not approving the wedding.
It is clear as crystal that the advantages of court marriage in India outweigh its disadvantages. Even all the cons can be overlooked if you hire an experienced lawyer. A good family lawyer can help you throughout the marriage process and guide you to the right path. Also, if you are lucky enough to find a skilled lawyer, you can even attain help in arranging documents and witnesses. Therefore, it is a great idea to ditch those expensive weddings and tie a knot with the partner of your choice to have a blissful life ahead.