Are you thinking of marrying in Ghana? Here are some tips to guide you. There are three legal forms of marriage in Ghana: the Customary, the Islamic and the Ordinance.
Customary marriage in Ghana is a kind of marriage between a man and a woman, and involves performance of certain local customs. There are as many variations of the custom as the ethnic groups there are in Ghana. Two things common to the various customs are: a gathering of the extended families of the couple; and payment of a bride-price to the bride’s parents.
Customary marriages are potentially polygynous: a man may have as many customary wives as he can, and there is no limit to the number of such marriages that can be legally registered under the Customary Marriage and Divorce Registration Law, 1985 (PNDCL 112).
Islamic marriage is a kind of marriage that is made in accordance with Islamic rules regarding marriage. Marriages made under Islamic law may be polygynous. A marriage made under Islamic rules must also be registered under the Marriages Act, in order to be valid.
The Registrar of Mohammedan marriages and divorces must be notified within one week of the marriage, or else the marriage will be declared null and void. However the Law provides for certain actions for instances where it is impossible for all the necessary parties to attend at the Registrar’s office within a week.
Ordinance marriage or a marriage under the Marriage Ordinance is regulated by the Marriages Ordinance, 1884-1985, and it is strictly monogamous. One of the parties in the intended marriage must give notice of marriage to the Registrar Marriage of the district where the marriage will take place. The Registrar will publish notice of the intended marriage for twenty-one days and then issue a certificate if no objections are made against that marriage.
The couple now submit the registrar’s certificate to a licensed marriage officer to perform the marriage. Then the couple must marry within three months, otherwise, the Registrar’s certificate becomes invalid and a new one must be obtained.