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Types of marriages in Kenya

A lot has been said when it comes to marriage; the myths, beliefs, the half-truths, and misconception around this topic leaves many confused. The questions that run through are who can be married, how one can get married, are there different types of marriages and many other questions.

What is marriage?

In Kenya marriage can be defined as the voluntary union of a man and a woman whether in a monogamous or polygamous union and registered under the Marriage Act.

From the definition we can identify some things that are necessary for a marriage to be legally celebrated, this includes;

  1. It has to be voluntary;
  2. it’s between a man and a woman;
  3. registration

What there different types of marriages?

There 5 types of marriages currently. These are Christian Marriages, Civil Marriages, Customary Marriages, Hindu Marriages and finally Islamic marriages. Today we look at the first three. Like and follow my page on Facebook to keep posted on the Islamic and Hindu marriages.

Christian Marriages

As the name states it, these are marriages celebrated by people who profess the Christian religion.  It’s of most importance that the clergyman who conducts the celebrations is a licensed marriage officer. To contract this type of marriage the couple is expected to Visit the Marriage Registrar and make an application for registration of marriage.

So, what are the requirements of Christian marriage?

  1. Copies of identification cards for both parties
  2. Colored passport size photos for both parties and
  3. Make a payment of Ksh. 600 this shall serve as a notice to get married. The notice will run for a period of 21days

The church in which the couple intends to get married should announce the notice of marriage three times

If someone is objecting to the celebration of marriage they should object within the 21days of notice. The notice of objection should have the name of the person objecting and reasons for the objections the objection should be lodged to the church minister.

After the 21 days, the couple is expected to pay ksh 800 to obtain a Registrar Certificate which will be issued seven days thereafter and Copy Pastor’s License & serial No. of the certificate of marriage to be issued

The couple is issued with a marriage certificate that will prove their marriage

Civil Marriages

Commonly known as the DC marriage or The AG marriages

It’s celebrated by the Registrar

What are the requirements of a civil marriage?

  1. The couple should give a notice to the Registrar of Marriages of their intention to contract a civil marriage.
  2. The application should be accompanied with the Copies of identification cards
  3. Colored passport size photos of the couple and
  4. Pay a notice fee of Ksh 600.

This notice will run for 21 days, during that period is when the registrar is expected to publish a notice of the intention to marry the couple to invite objections

If there objections and registrar finds it their solid grounds, he shall cancel the notice of marriage to hear and determine the objections. The hearing takes place within 7 days

If there no objections the couple shall be issued with the certificate of no impediment

After the 21 days, the couple is to pay   Ksh 3,300, and then given a marriage date according to the official diary.

The couple shall be issued with a marriage certificate after the celebration of marriage.

Customary Marriages­­

Celebrated as per customs of the communities of the couple that intends to marry. Mostly there is the payment of dowry that is sufficient proof of marriage.

To register this type of marriage the couple is expected to notify the Registrar within 3months of competition of relevant ceremonies or steps that require the conferring of the status of marriage to the couple

All marriages must be registered

What rights do I have when married?

Some of the rights ones have as a married couple include

  1. Right to the consummation of the marriage
  2. Right to inherit your spouse upon death
  3. Right to be a personal representative to your spouse
  4. Spousal privilege

Can a marriage be terminated?

Yes, through filing a divorce petition in court. We hope you don’t get to divorce level. But all the same, it’s important to have the knowledge to probably advise a friend going through it. For that reason, we will be discussing divorce next week. What is the procedure? What are the implication? What about the children and property? You don’t want to miss out. Like the Facebook page below to stay connected.

Do you have any legal question? WOW MOM is here for you. Feel free to type your question here and our legal team will help you out. YES! We are that cool. If you like, share it. See you next week

See also how you can improve your baby’s vocabulary

Article by A.Muriuki with the guidance of Mutai Maina Kimeu Associates

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