Benefits of Court Wedding in Nigeria will be carefully explicated in this article. This will guide you into considering having a court marriage.
Is Court Marriage Compulsory in Nigeria
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Court wedding is otherwise known as civil marriage. It is very important in Nigeria because it is legally recognized and also serves as proof of a marriage contract.
No couple in Nigeria is truly married until they have been legally proven by engagement in the court wedding procedure. It gives marriage a legal status.
Court weddings or civil marriage in Nigeria is protected under the Marriage Act, Chapter 218 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.
The marriage is held in registries across the nation; federal marriage registry (in Lagos and Abuja only), and registries across all the states in Nigeria and at the local government level.
Each of these registries has the jurisdiction and requisite capacity to conduct court weddings. However, there are several processes to be followed.
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Here are the Required Processes for Court Weddings in Nigeria:
- The intending couple obtains a form from the registry of choice, indicating their intention to get married.
- Two recent colored passport photographs must be submitted.
- The form is filled and submitted, and the prescribed fees are paid to the Marriage Registrar.
There are some conditions, according to customary law that the couple needs to have fulfilled, after which they will be asked to swear an affidavit before the registrar, to that effect.
The sworn affidavit is made and its terms are reiterated in case of a breach of any of the requirements, which penalty is two years imprisonment.
The registrar now goes ahead to sign a declaration to show that the couple understands the implications under the law and has met and satisfied all that has been required of them.
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Upon the court proof that the proposed marriage has no lawful impediment and that necessary consents, if any, to such marriage has been obtained, the Minister will dispense with the giving of notice, issue the certificate and grant his/her license, authorizing the celebration of marriage between the parties named in such license.
The couple then fixes a date for the wedding, usually within 3 months from the date the notice was placed with the registry.
On the fixed date, the couple with their family members and friends would go to the registry to finalize the marriage proceedings.
The ceremony usually does not take longer than 30 minutes of time. After which the Registrar would issue the Marriage Certificate in duplicate, which will be signed by the officiating minister and witnesses.
The registrar will then register the marriage in the Marriage Register Book, and thus the couple is declared legally married.
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The Importance/Benefits of Civil or Court Weddings in Nigeria
- There are many advantages, first of all, in the case of court marriage, everything is done according to the law, which secures the groom and bride from future threats.
- It is reasonably the cheapest form of marriage procedure in Nigeria. Though the preceding procedures may take time, the wedding ceremony is usually very short.
- By this marriage contract, either couple has the right to claim 50% of jointly owned assets.
- It enhances the application for a visa to travel abroad as a spouse.
- Court wedding is less noisy and loud.
- It is less stressful to plan and execute.
- It helps in cutting down guests and costs of entertainment, especially with our kind of economy in Nigeria.
- It reduces the problem of family objections or interference.
- It guards against polygamy.
- There are no strict rules or codes, say, dress codes or timelines.
Court wedding in Nigeria has both advantages and disadvantages but the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
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If many come to know how easy and cheap it is to secure their marriage legally through the marriage registry available in the country, they would be married sooner and easier than feared. It confers legal status to the couple and makes them easily recognizable within the country, as married.