Marriage Law

Marriage Law

Marriage Law

Marriage is a culturally and legally recognized union between people generally called spouses, that establishes obligations between them, between them and their children and relatives. The spouses are the representatives of one another and have rights and duties towards each other and the family. Section 68 of the Civil Code, 2074 B.S. says that Marriage is a holy social and legal bond and has to be permanent and inviolable based on free consent. Marriage is concluded in different ways depending upon the varying religion and culture. In Nepal marriage is concluded mainly in two ways i.e. marriage concluded by social and cultural rituals, court marriage and registered marriage.

Legal instruments that governs marriage in Nepal are:

  • The Civil Code, 2074 B.S.
  • Marriage Registration Act
  • Chapter 11 of Criminal Code, 2074 makes provision on Offences Relating to Marriage

Part 3 of the Civil Code,2074 B.S. is all about the family law of Nepal. Chapter 1 deals with the provision relating to the marriage. Section 68 says that Marriage is a holy social and legal bond and has to be permanent and inviolable based on free consent. The Nepalese legal system provides freedom of marriage, establishing family and spending conjugal life if both the man and woman have completed 20 years of age, are not involved in any matrimonial relationship at the time of marriage and if are not relatives punishable by law in incest.

What is the process of the registration of marriage in Nepal

Section 76 says that the husband and wife have to register the marriage for the legal validity if the marriage has been concluded by religious or social rituals by filing an application in the ward office of their permanent residence or in the Embassy of Nepal/ consulate office if living out of Nepal. The registration of the marriage is compulsory for the legal validity of the marriage. But the marriage that was concluded before the commencement of this Code is not necessary to be registered.

Section 11 says that the registration of the marriage concluded pursuant to custom, tradition and usage can also be registered for the evidence of the marriage.

No marriage by way of misrepresentation

Section 71(2) says that no marriage shall be concluded or cause to be concluded by way of misrepresentation. The marriage cannot be concluded in the following conditions:

  • One who has contracted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or Hepatitis ‘B’ or similar other incurable severe disease,
  • One who has already been proved to have no sexual organ, to be impotent or to have no reproductive capability,
  • One who is dumb or has lost hearing capacity, being fully blind or is suffering from leprosy,
  • One who is of unsound mind,
  • One who is already a married,
  • One who is a pregnant,
  • One who has been convicted of a criminal offense involving moral turpitude by a court and sentenced for the same.

When a marriage to be void in Nepal?

According to section 72 the marriage concluded in the following condition is ab initio void:

  • marriage concluded without consent of the man or the woman,
  • marriage concluded between the relatives, punishable by law on incest.

Voidable marriage
Section 73 says that the marriage concluded in the following conditions is voidable:

  • child marriage
  • marriage by misrepresentation.

Marriage to be deemed concluded if child is born from physical intercourse:

if a woman is proved to have delivered a child by conceiving pregnancy from physical intercourse with a man, marriage between such a man and a woman shall, ipso facto, be deemed to have been concluded. But no marriage is deemed to be concluded in the following conditions:

  • if a woman gives birth to a child by conceiving pregnancy as the consequence of rape,
  • If a woman gives birth to a child by conceiving pregnancy from a physical intercourse with a man within the relationship punishable by law on incest.

What is a marriage by registration?

Section 5 of the Marriage Registration Act, an application at least 15 days earlier can be made to the Marriage Registration Office in the prescribed format, which is marriage, by registration.

Court marriage in Nepal

Court marriage is also marriage by registration. According to section 77 of the Civil Code states that if a man and woman wants to conclude marriage by registration, they shall file an application in the concerned District Court, if they are in Nepal, and in the Nepali embassy or consulate general, if they are outside Nepal. The application includes the name, surname, age, address, profession, name of their father, mother, grand- father, grand- mother, whether previously married or not, if married then the details of the dissolution of such marriage and name of at least two witnesses. If the marriage is capable of being concluded, the concerned authority has to prepare a deed of consent.
When a matrimonial relationship gets terminated?

According to section 82 of the Civil Code, the matrimonial relationship between the husband and wife is deemed to be terminated in the following conditions:

  • if the marriage is annulled due to the conditions of void and voidable marriage
  • if marriage is dissolved according to law of husband and wife
  • if the wife concludes another marriage before effecting divorce.

Is there possibility of Re- marriage in Nepal?

According to section 83, a man or a woman may remarry in any of the following conditions:

  • if the matrimonial relationship between husband and wife is terminated as per section 82 as mentioned above,
  • if husband or wife dies,
  • if the husband and wife are separated upon partition in accordance with law.


Section 84 makes provision on the time limitation for the person aggrieved from any act done or action taken against the chapter of marriage of Civil Code, the person may make a lawsuit within three months after the date on which such act was done or action taken.

Provision of Criminal Code

Chapter 11 of the Criminal Code provides for the offences relating to marriage. Section 171 says that no marriage shall be concluded or cause to be concluded without the consent of any person. If anyone does such offences hall be punished with imprisonment up to 20,000 rupees.

Section 172 says that no marriage shall be solemnized in the relation of incest except in the condition where there are customary practices of such marriage. If anyone does such acts is punished as per the provision of rape in relation of incest and if caused to be solemnized, then those persons are punished with imprisonment up to 3 months and fine up to 3 thousand rupees. Section 173 says that no child marriage shall be concluded i.e. below the age of 20 years. Such marriage shall be void ab initio. The offender of such offence shall be punished with the imprisonment up to 3 years and fine up to 30 thousand rupees.

Section 174 makes provision against dowry system which is one of the evil practices, offence and is also violation of human rights. The provision says that no any kind of transactions shall be carried out or no any demand shall be made. Normal gift as per one’s custom can be given. If anyone demands dowry and does any act against this section shall be punished with an imprisonment up to 3 years and a fine up to 30 thousand shall be imposed. It also says that if after the marriage, the bride and her relatives are bothered or persecuted, such person shall be imprisoned up to 5 years and fine up to 50 thousand shall be imposed.

Section 175 is against polygamy. A married man or woman cannot enter into re- marriage. No woman shall marry a married man, with the knowledge that the man is already married. Punishment for such offence is imprisonment up to 1- 5 years and fine up to 10,000- 50,000 rupees. But one can enter into re- marriage if the husband or the wife are living separately taking their partition share.


The person having locus standi can make lawsuit within 3 months of the knowledge of the commission of such offences.

Call LExNRN, for Quick Inquiry!