For Court Marriage in Pakistan: The Procedure and Fees

Court marriage refers to the official joining of a man and a woman through a legal process conducted in a court of law, establishing them as husband and wife.

This union is formalised before a Magistrate or Marriage Registrar in the jurisdiction where either or both parties reside, whether temporarily or permanently.

So, How Does a Pakistani Court Marriage Proceed?

The Pakistani Constitution grants individuals the freedom to choose their spouse. To ensuring their aspirations are realized through court marriage.

Various factors contribute to the growing trend of court marriages, such as delayed unions, higher education levels, and increased interaction between individuals of the opposite gender.

Why would a couple hesitate to go through with a court marriage?


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In modern times, the increase in education levels has transformed the lifestyle in Pakistan. However, our society remains conservative, particularly regarding court marriage.

Parents often view their children as assets to the family rather than autonomous individuals.

As court marriage becomes more prevalent, instances of honor killings are also on the rise. Therefore, it is crucial for the state to safeguard the lives and freedoms of couples opting for court marriage.

Ultimately, adults of marriageable age should be able to exercise their right to marry freely through court marriage, following the appropriate legal procedures.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s constitution safeguards the fundamental human right to select a life mate.

After the court marriage ceremony is solemnized, the responsibility does not end there; rather, it extends to ensuring the protection of the couple.

It is imperative that measures are taken to safeguard the rights and well-being of the couple who have chosen to marry through the court system.

This includes providing them with necessary legal protections and ensuring that they can freely exercise their right to marriage as guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan.

By prioritising the safety and security of court-married couples, society can uphold the principles of individual freedom and choice, fostering an environment where couples can fully embrace their marital union without fear or interference.

List of Documents Required in Pakistan for Court Marriages

PointRequirements
1Both individuals must possess a valid CNIC. Alternatively, if a CNIC is unavailable, a passport, Matriculation certificate, or Form B may be utilized.
2Two male witnesses for the marriage ceremony are necessary. If arranging witnesses poses a challenge, assistance can be provided.
3Six passport-size photographs of the bride are required for Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Lahore, while six are needed for Karachi.
4An affidavit of free will from the bride’s side is mandatory. We will generate this document during the registration process.
5In the event of a second marriage, a valid Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate of the deceased spouse must be presented.
Note: All documents should be original and also photocopies.

Fee and Time duration for a Court-Married Lawyer

The fee charged by a court marriage lawyer in Pakistan can fluctuate based on several factors, including the lawyer’s level of experience and the location of their practice.

On average, clients can expect to pay between Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 for the services provided by a court marriage lawyer.

This fee typically covers all essential aspects of the court marriage process, such as documentation, paperwork, registration, and the fee for the Nikah Khawan (marriage officiant).

The duration of the entire court marriage procedure usually ranges from 30 minutes to 1 hour. However, the exact timeframe may vary depending on various factors, including the number of individuals scheduled for court marriage on that particular day.

It is important for individuals seeking court marriage to be aware of these factors and to discuss the specific details and fees with their chosen lawyer beforehand to ensure a smooth and efficient process.

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How can I apply for Birth Certificate?

In accordance with both legal and Shari’a principles, the signing of the Nikahnama follows the Ijab-o-Qabool during the Nikah ceremony. This involves the participation of the bride, groom, and two male Muslim witnesses who are of sound mind.

Upon completion of the religious rites, the Nikah Registrar proceeds to officially register the marriage. A copy of the Nikahnama is forwarded to the Union Council, while another copy is provided to the newly married couple.

Additionally, if requested, our services extend to applying for a NADRA Marriage Registration Certificate on behalf of our client, with typical processing times spanning only a few days.

As of 2024, the advantages of opting for court marriage in Pakistan include:

1. Legal Recognition and Protection: A court marriage provides immediate legal recognition to a couple’s relationship, ensuring that their marital rights are protected under the law. This includes rights related to inheritance, custody, maintenance, and property.

2. Simplicity and Efficiency: Compared to traditional marriages, which can involve extensive rituals and ceremonies, court marriages are straightforward and can be completed in a relatively short amount of time. This simplicity can be particularly appealing for couples who prefer a no-frills approach to marriage.

3. Cost-Effective: Court marriages often require fewer expenses than traditional weddings, which can be elaborate and costly. This makes it a financially viable option for couples who wish to save money or allocate their resources elsewhere.

4. Autonomy and Privacy: For couples who wish to marry without the pressure of societal norms or family expectations, court marriage provides a level of autonomy and privacy. This is especially relevant for those who are marrying outside of their cultural, religious, or social groups.

5. Legal Framework for Interfaith and Intercultural Marriages: Pakistan, being a diverse country with multiple religions and cultures, sometimes presents challenges for interfaith or intercultural couples. Court marriages offer a legal framework that supports and recognizes these unions, providing a pathway for couples facing resistance or barriers to traditional marriage.

6. Protection against Forced Marriages: Court marriages can serve as a safeguard for individuals seeking to avoid forced or unwanted traditional marriages, enabling them to legally marry a partner of their choice.

7. Ease of Documentation and Formalities: The process of court marriage usually involves clear and straightforward documentation, making it easier for couples to fulfill legal requirements without the complexities that can sometimes accompany traditional marriage procedures.

8. Support for Women’s Rights: Court marriages in Pakistan can play a crucial role in protecting women’s rights, including provisions related to dowry, divorce, and maintenance. The legal framework ensures that women’s rights are upheld within the marriage.

9. Recognition for International Purposes: A court marriage certificate is recognised internationally, which is beneficial for couples who plan to travel or live abroad. This recognition can simplify visa applications, residency processes, and other legal formalities in foreign countries.

10. Social Change and Modernisation: Opting for court marriage can reflect broader social changes and a move towards modernisation, where individual choice and legal rights are prioritised over traditional customs.

It’s important to note that while court marriage offers these benefits, the decision to opt for this type of marriage should be made considering the personal, cultural, and legal implications specific to the couple’s circumstances.

FAQs about Court Marriage in Pakistan 2024

1. Who is eligible for court marriage in Pakistan? 

Individuals who are of legal marriageable age (18 years for males and 16 years for females, subject to changes if any recent laws have been enacted) and possess sound mind are eligible for court marriage in Pakistan. Both parties must consent to the marriage without any coercion.

  2. How long does the court marriage process take in Pakistan? 

The duration can vary depending on the specific circumstances, but generally, the process can be completed in a few hours to a few days, provided all necessary documents are in order and legal requirements are met.

  3. Can interfaith couples get married through court marriage in Pakistan? 

Yes, interfaith couples can get married through court marriage in Pakistan. The legal framework allows for the marriage of individuals from different faiths, but it’s advisable to consult with a legal expert to navigate any potential legal complexities.

  4. What is the cost of a court marriage in Pakistan? 

The cost can vary depending on the lawyer’s fees, court fees, and any additional services required. It’s generally more cost-effective than traditional marriage ceremonies but obtaining an estimate from a legal professional beforehand is recommended.

  5. Is parental consent required for a court marriage? 

While parental consent is not legally required for individuals of legal marriageable age, societal and familial norms in Pakistan often make obtaining such consent a practical consideration for many couples.

  8. How is a court marriage registered in Pakistan? 

After the marriage procedure is completed in court, the marriage is registered with the local union council or relevant municipal authority, and a marriage certificate (Nikahnama for Muslim marriages) is issued as legal proof of the marriage.

  9. Can a court marriage be kept confidential? 

Yes, the details of a court marriage can be kept confidential, especially if the couple has concerns about privacy or security. However, the marriage record will be a part of public records unless specific privacy measures are requested.

  10. What legal protections does a court marriage offer? 

A court marriage offers legal protections related to inheritance, divorce, maintenance, and custody under Pakistani law. It ensures that the rights of both spouses are protected and can be enforced through legal channels.

For specific legal advice or the most current information, it’s recommended to consult with a legal professional experienced in family law in Pakistan.

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