Is customary marriage legal in Kenya?

New reforms in the Marriage Act in Kenya postulates that all marriage unions including those under African Customary law should be registered and marriage certificates issued. Today, customary law applies insofar as it is not repugnant to justice and morality like child marriages and dissent.

What is the difference between customary and civil marriage?

What is a Customary Marriage? … There exist certain requirements that must be complied with in order to conclude a valid customary marriage; while a civil marriage is seen as a marriage concluded between 2 parties, and must be monogamous in order to be valid, customary marriages differ as polygamy is permissible.

The Parties must be 18 years or older. At the time of marriage, the Parties must not have entered a Civil, Christian, Islam or Hindu marriage. … The parties must freely consent to the registration of the marriage. Registration of Customary Marriage is only applicable to Kenyans who have conducted the customary rites.

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Customary marriages are recognised as valid marriages in terms of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 (“the Act”). … If one or more of the parties are minors (below the age of 18 years), both his/her parents or legal guardian must give consent to the marriage.

What does the law say about customary marriage?

In terms of Section 3(1) of the Act, in order for a customary marriage to be valid, it has to be entered into by a man and woman over the age of 18 years who have the intention of getting married under Customary Law, and the marriage must be negotiated and entered into or celebrated in accordance with Customary Law.

What is traditional or customary marriage?

Traditional/Customary marriage is a marriage ceremony that has been conducted in accordance with the customs of the bride and groom’s families. … The Registrar’s certificate is proof that notice of the marriage has been given with no objections, and the intending couple are free to solemnise the marriage.

Does a customary marriage need to be registered?

The short answer is NO: Failure to register a customary marriage does not affect the validity of that marriage. The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 (the Act) sets out the requirements for a valid customary marriage concluded before or after 15 November 2000, when the act commenced.

Can foreigners get married in Kenya?

For a Kenyan citizen to legally marry a non-Kenyan in Kenya, both parties must register with the Registrar of Marriages, which must be done at least 21 days prior to the ceremony. … A solicitor or notary must also provide a signed affidavit that the non-Kenyan party is legally eligible to be married.

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Can a man marry two wives legally in Kenya?

In March 2014, Kenya’s Parliament passed a bill allowing men to marry multiple wives. Polygamy is common among traditional communities in Kenya, as well as among the country’s Muslim community. … The Bill was made legislation on 1 May 2014.

How do I end a customary marriage in Kenya?

Customary marriage divorce in Kenya

Dissolution of marriage in Kenya can be both judicial or extrajudicial. Also, before any spouses grant a divorce, elders must try to reconcile the two. However, if the reconciliation process proves futile, the elders have no choice but disband the marriage union.

How do you nullify customary marriage?

Dissolution of marriage in terms of the Act

Section 8(1) provides that a customary marriage ‘may only be dissolved by a court by a decree of divorce on the ground of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage’.

How is customary marriage done?

The specific customary rites that are followed vary from group to group, although in virtually all cases customary marriage involves a gathering at which the bridegroom’s family makes payment of a bride-price to the bride’s family, followed by the bride being asked if she will accept the bridegroom as her husband.

How do I register a customary marriage?

To register a customary marriage, a couple must go to an office of the Department of Home Affairs. At least one witness for each of the partners, or a representative from each of the families must also be present.

Can customary marriage be out of community?

A customary marriage is deemed to be in community of property unless an antenuptial agreement is entered into before the marriage. According to the MPA, parties who wish to get married out of community of property must enter into an antenuptial contract prior to the civil marriage ceremony being concluded.

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How long does it take to register a customary marriage?

Customary marriages must be registered within three months of taking place. This can be done at any office of the Department of Home Affairs or through a designated traditional leader in areas where there are no Home Affairs offices.

What is meant by customary marriage?

By definition, a customary marriage is a union that is negotiated, celebrated and concluded in terms of indigenous African customary law. … Often, the wedding celebrations don’t take place for a while after the lobola negotiations and payment has been settled (in part or full).

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