Are you thinking of marrying in Ghana? Have you ever wondered why many foreigners prefer Ghanaian women to those of other nationals?
Do you want to know more about the forms of marriage in Ghana? If you answered yes, then this is an article for you. A well-prepared guide to aid you on your new adventure!
Table of Contents
- Forms of Marriage in Ghana
- Registration of Marriage in Ghana
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Forms of Marriage in Ghana
There are three legal forms of marriage in Ghana; these are;
- Customary marriage
- Islamic marriage
- Ordinance marriage
1. The Customary Marriage
Customary marriage in Ghana is a kind of marriage between a man and a woman and involves the 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 polygamous: 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).
2. The Islamic Marriage
Islamic marriage is a kind of marriage that is made by Islamic rules regarding marriage. Marriages made under Islamic law may be polygamous. A marriage made under Islamic rules must also be registered under the Marriages Act, 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 in instances where it is impossible for all the necessary parties can’t attend at the Registrar’s office within a week.
3. The Ordinance Marriage
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 of 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 submits 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. Now read the requirements for ordinance marriage in Ghana. This is a straightforward overview of the legal types of marriage that exist in Ghana.
Registration of Marriage in Ghana
Marriage under the ordinance is the civil union available to any Ghanaian to take advantage of, and despite some confusion, it is entirely secular and not religious (Christian) at all.
This is governed by the Marriages Act (Cap 127) and is the only, strictly monogamous legal means of marriage in Ghana. Those intending to get married are required to give notice to the marriage registrar in the district where the marriage is going to occur.
The registrar would then publish a notice of marriage and then issue a certificate after 21 days if no objection is raised. The marriage certificate must then be presented to a licensed marriage officer, after which the couple must get married within three months or that certificate becomes null and void.
- Registrar’s Certificate
- Special License
The applicant may obtain the prescribed Declaration Form and complete it with the assistance of the Marriage Registrar.
Question of Consent/Declaration for consideration
- Have the couple ever been married before under the ordinance law, Yes / No?
- If YES…? Kindly state the reason
- A divorce Certificate or Death Certificate is a mandatory requirement and must be in English should this be the reason.
- It’s a must for the couple to be present to start the registration
- The couple must be 18 years and above and also of sound mind
- Two witnesses are to be provided from each side of the couple if marriage is to be celebrated at the Registrar General’s Department.
Marriage must be celebrated within 20 days of the start date.
When a foreigner is involved:
If the couple is not Ghanaians, they produce a residence permit or stay in the country for more than 15 working days. But if one Ghanaian is involved, the above requirement is not needed
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Can I Marry Ghanaian Citizens?
Every country has its own laws that apply to its citizens marrying a person from a different country. Getting married to a Ghanaian citizen to eventually bringing them to the US to live is a process with many steps.
You must demonstrate to Ghanaian officials that they are not currently married to anyone else – either you have never been married or all divorces are finalized – that your identity is proven, and that you have never committed any crimes in Ghana. This is done by providing various documents including an Affidavit of Single Status to the Ghanaian government either in Ghana or via a Ghanaian embassy.
If you want to bring your Ghanaian spouse or partner to live in the US, you must then file a sponsorship application for them to become a permanent resident. If they would like to visit you in the US while their application is in process, they must also apply for a visitor visa. For more information, please see
our family sponsorship page and our visitor visa page.
What Are The Basic Requirements For Marrying in Ghana?
To marry a citizen of Ghana, you must demonstrate to the Ghanaian government that you are eligible to do so. This includes:
Proof of country of birth
Proof of single status
Proof of age requirement
Where Can The Marriage Ceremony Take Place?
The marriage ceremony to a Ghanaian citizen can legally take place in Ghana, the US, or any other country as long as both parties have the necessary visas to enter this country legally. This marriage can then be recognized when applying for a permanent residence or a visitor visa for your Ghanaian spouse.
What Will Happen If My Wife And I Have Dependent Children?
If your Ghanaian spouse has dependent children, this does not affect the Ghanaian Marriage document application. If you have dependent children, they do not affect the application to marry a Ghanaian citizen.