Article 45 of the Constitution provides for the recognition of family as the basic natural and fundamental unit of society hence has to be recognized and protected by the state. Consequently, the Marriage Act, 2014 was enacted to give effect to the above constitutional provision.
The Act defines a marriage as a voluntary union of a man and a woman whether in a monogamous or polygamous union and registered under this Act.
Section 50 of the Act establishes the Office of the Registrar of Marriages to perform the following functions:
- Perform civil marriages;
- Register all marriages;
- Issue marriage certificates for all registered marriages;
- Issue certificates of no impediment to persons who intend to marry and who qualify for such a certificate;
- Determine the rules governing customary marriages; and
- Determine objections of notices to marry
The Act also recognizes five (5) systems of Marriage, namely:
- Civil Marriages
- Christian Marriages
- Hindu Marriages
- Customary Marriages
- Islamic Marriages