The requirements for ordinance marriage in Ghana are quite simple. It is an inexpensive or a very affordable way to marry. First, this form of marriage is made between a man and a woman only. The partners must be 18 years or older and none of the two entering into a marriage by ordinance shall be in any form of marriage with any other person(s). But, there is an exception where the two partners are already married to each other in a customary marriage.
This marriage process is one of the institutions we inherited from British colonial administration and still hold on to. It has two main stages, and they are:
- Filing a Notice of Marriage and Issue of Registrar’s Certificate,
- The Marriage Ceremony.
Some fees are charged at each of the stages.
Filing a Notice of Marriage
Each partner shall provide certain personal information to the registrar of marriages. They are:
- House number (residential address)
- Father’s name
- Father’s profession/Occupation
- Condition (Status of registrants: Single, Divorced, or in Customary Marriage)
- Phone number:
The Registrar’s Certificate
A registrar’s certificate to marry is issued to the partners after 21 days of filing the a notice of marriage and nobody raises any valid objection against the proposed marriage. After they have received the registrar’s certificate, the couple must go through the marriage ceremony within three months, otherwise the certificate becomes void.
The Ordinance Marriage Ceremony & Certificate of Marriage
In a quick ceremony at the marriage registry, a registered officer officiates, leads the partners make solemn declarations and exchange rings and sign the marriage register. After all that a certificate of marriage is presented to the couple and pronounced and husband wife.
Alternatively, the partners may present the registrar’s certificate to a registered chaplain to officiate the marriage ceremony at a registered place of marriage.
Finally, the couple must consummate the marriage. That is, they must make the marriage complete by having sexual intercourse.