COURT MARRIAGE PROCEDURE IN CAMEROON
Court marriage in Cameroon is routed in Section 18 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) by the Republic of Cameroon which provides for the protection of family life. The law envisages 3 types of marriages namely; Traditional/Customary; Church/Islamic and contract Marriage in Cameroon. Registering for court marriage has become popular in recent times because the party seeking to dissolve the marriage must prove to the satisfaction of the Court that it has broken down irretrievably. Moreover, in case of dissolution of marriage, the Matrimonial Causes Act provides for custody of the children of the marriage and settlement of the property.
COURT MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS IN CAMEROON
The court marriage requirements in Cameroon as provided by the Civil Status Registration Ordinance No: 81 -02 of 29th June 1981 are as follows:
- Court marriage procedure in Cameroon requires at least a 30 days notice before the marriage is contracted or a waiver of publication of marital banns.
- At the end of the 30 working days, the parties will bring a copy of their birth certificate and National Identity card if no objection.
- Registering for marriage in Cameroon also requires spouses to submit a copy of their single status certificate as proof that they are not tied to any previous statutory marriage in Cameroon.
- Registering for court marriage in Cameroon requires intending spouses to present 9 passport-size photographs with their heads bound together from the sides.
- Registering for marriage in Cameroon requires intending spouses should bring their respective witnesses preferably their parents or close relative to sign the statutory marriage register in Cameroon which also proves that they consent to the marriage.
- On the date fixed for the wedding, the couple will bring a wedding ring and exchange their vows.
REGISTERING FOR COURT MARRIAGE IN CAMEROON
Registering for court marriage requires intending spouses to be done at the marriage registry/ council which required a letter of marriage intention and payment of a prescribed fee.
In conclusion, Cameroon Embassies abroad are statutorily empowered to celebrate court marriage in Cameroon between a Cameroonian and a foreigner without necessarily coming to Cameroon. However, they must comply with provisions of the Civil Status Registration Ordinance. In a case where intending couples cannot wait for the 30 days’ statutory publication of marital banns, they can hire a lawyer back in Cameroon who shall represent them in obtaining a waiver from any state prosecutor in Cameroon as per section 55 of Ordinance No: 81 -02 of 29th June 1981 and a single status certificate. These documents must be legalized at the ministry of external Relations in Cameroon, and duly certified by an administrative officer before they can be used abroad.
Article by Barr. Mafany Victor Ngando
“The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstance”