Marriage Application & Affidavit

Q. What Is A Marriage Affidavit?

Ans: A marriage affidavit is used to prove the union between a married couple. It is a proof of declaration that is made by a person to prove that he/she are married. The 2006 Supreme Court’s judgement of Justices in a 14-page judgment regarding compulsory registration of marriages, have made marriage registration compulsory. In order to register your marriage under the Court of Law, one requires a marriage affidavit. The marriage affidavit must be sworn before a Notary. The procedure for registering a marriage in India is complete once you get your marriage certificate. Marriage Registration is carried out under either the Special Marriage Act, 1954, the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936. The Special Marriage Act applies to all residents of India in terms of religion, caste, dialect, etc.

Q. Why Do You Need A Marriage Affidavit?

Ans: A marriage affidavit is a sworn document  by one or two members, stating that these details are correct to his/her knowledge, and that, it proves the validity of one’s marriage. According to the Hindu Marriage Act, 1954, all benefits after marriage pertaining to property and legal matters can be availed only after the marriage is registered.

Q. What Is A Joint Marriage Affidavit?

Ans: A joint affidavit is a joint statement sworn by husband and wife, after marriage, stating the date and place of their marriage including the law under which the marriage was registered. A joint affidavit should state the full names and addresses of the parents of both the parties. In certain cases after a person has changed his/her name after marriage, a joint affidavit shall also state the new name of the spouse that is going to be replaced with the old name. A joint marriage affidavit must be printed on a non-judicial stamp paper and a marriage photograph of the couple must be affixed to the bottom of the affidavit. This photograph must be attested by a judicial magistrate or notary public.

This can also help you apply for a passport after marriage, open a bank account, claim succession rights of a property, seek legal custody of child at the time separation, etc.  There are several reasons why you may need to draft a marriage affidavit – and there are also different types of marriage affidavits. You can submit a joint affidavit for registering marriage or you could try to submit an affidavit which is done individually, making registration regarding marriage. However, few states in India required a single applicant over a joint affidavit for marriage. If a joint affidavit cannot be done, an affidavit sworn by a single entity needs to be made in order to state the reasons behind it.

Q. Name Change After Marriage?

Ans: It’s not an uncommon phenomenon, especially in India, for a person to change his or her name. Whether it be the addition or deletion of an initial from an existing name or completely changing a person’s first, middle and/or family name. One thing we have been able to gauge is the extensive name change made by women to their first and last names because of marital reasons. Though it may seem like one in every ten individuals might opt for a name change, the procedure remains highly lengthy and not public-friendly. This article enables you to go through the entire name change procedure step-by-step and understand the importance of name change in our current society.

Q. What Is A Name Change?

Ans: A name change refers to the legal process of changing one’s name, which will be different from the person’s birth, marriage or adoption name. It is important to note that a name change has legal effect, and once a person undergoes a name change, the new name becomes that person’s legal and only name. A person should carefully consider what the name change is going to be before opting for it.

Q. What Is The Procedure To Change Name?

Ans: There are three critical and mandatory steps in changing your name, namely:

  • Affidavit Creation
    An individual that requires a name change will be required to submit an affidavit for change of name (deed poll affidavit) on stamp paper which has to be attested by a notary. In the name change affidavit, the following must be mentioned by the applicant: Old and the new name, the reason for the name change and the current address of the applicant. This affidavit serves as an important and legal document for all future references, filings and legal formalities.
  • Newspaper Publication
    After obtaining the name change affidavit, the next step is to publish a notification or advertisement of a name change in at least 2 local newspapers (one English newspaper and one regional newspaper published in the official language of the State). The prime details to be included in the newspaper publication are – new name, old name and residential address. These copies of newspapers (with the name change published) should be securely and safely held by you for future reference and use.
  • Gazette Notification
    A name change is said to be legally complete once a Gazette notification is published, although a Gazette notification is a compulsion for employees employed by the Government and is optional for others undergoing a name change. A Gazette notification serves as a substantial proof of name change and requires a few documents to be sent for publication, hence why, most people opt for it.

Q. Why Should It Be Done Legally?

Ans: When technology has been incorporated into so many facets of our everyday life, especially for proof of identity, it is important to note that any change in a person’s identity should be legally done. Our names are furnished on several important documents, such as PAN, Bank accounts, marksheet, Aadhaar card, birth certificate and so on, of record that serve the purpose of identity verification. Before making any change to these records with respect to name change, it is essential that your identity is legally verified and changed by a party or office appointed by the Center/State.

People who resort to identity theft, credit-card fraud, illegal signatures, spies or terrorists, credit evasion etc. would use the guise of a different name to conduct their criminal associations. A name change should thus be done legally to certify that the new name of an individual is their permanent name stored on record for all purposes. The process of doing it legally ensures accountability and transparency for your identification or verification.

Section 2 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 says:

  1. This Act applies –
    1. to any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms or developments, including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj;
    2. to any person who is a Buddhist, Jain or Sikh by religion; and
    3. to any other person domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion, unless it is proved that any such person would not have been governed by the Hindu law or by any custom or usage as part of that law in respect of any of the matters dealt with herein if this Act had not been passed.

This section therefore applies to Hindus by religion in any of its forms and Hindus within the extended meaning i.e. Buddhist, Jains or Sikh and, in fact, applies to all such persons domiciled in the country who are not Muslims, Christians, Parsi or Jew, unless it is proved that such persons are not governed by the Act under any custom or usage. The Act applies to Hindus outside the territory of India only if such a Hindu is domiciled in the territory of India.

The Act was viewed as conservative because it applied to any person who is Hindu by religion in any of its forms, yet groups other religions into the act (Jains, Buddhists, or Sikhs) as specified in Article 44 of the Indian Constitution. However, with the passage of Anand Marriage (Amendment) Bill in 2012, Sikhs now also have their own personal law related to marriage.

A Marriage (Arya Samaj Marriage or an arranged Marriage) is directly registered by the Registrar of Marriage under section 8 of Hindu Marriage Act-1955 on the same working day. Verification of all the documents is carried out on the date of application and thereafter Marriage is registered on the same working day by the registrar of marriage appointed by the Govt. of India and marriage certificate is issued.

Sikh Marriages and Registration Procedure in India

Sikh marriages, being a holy union considered sacrament, are performed with the blessing of the ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ as per the Anand Marriage (Amendment) Act, 2012.
Conditions for Marriage – The following conditions are to be satisfied to solemnize a Sikh marriage:
  • No party to the marriage should have a partner living at the time of marriage;
  • Both the parties to the marriage;
  • Should be able to give a free and valid consent, should be mentally fit and not of an unsound mind;
  • No party should be suffering from any mental disorder or mental illness thereby effecting their ability to give a valid consent for the marriage and procreation of children;
  • No party should be suffering from persistent bouts of insanity;
  • The bridegroom should have completed the age of twenty – one and the bride should have completed the age of eighteen years at the time of marriage;
  • The parties to the marriage should not be related to each other and should not come under the degrees of prohibited relationship, unless otherwise allowed under the rituals or customs which governs each of them which allows for such a marriage between both of them.

Documentation for Registration

  • Completed application form signed by the parties to the marriage.
  • Documentary evidence of date of birth of both parties, such as a passport, pan card, driving license etc .
  • An affidavit provided by both parties specifying the date, location and time of marriage. It should also contain information pertaining to the marital status and nationality of both parties.
  • Two passport size photographs of both the parties and one marriage photograph and marriage invite.

Procedure  for Registration

Sikh Marriages are now being registered under the Anand Marriage (Amendment) Act, 2012 by the following procedure:
  • All Sikh marriages performed prior to  or after the onset of the Anand Marriage (Amendment) Act, 2012,  are to be recorded in the  Marriage Register maintained by an officer of the State Government or of a local authority authorized by the State Government.
  • The Marriage Register would be open on all working hours for the examination of the records by the parties to the marriage, and the use of such information as proof for future purposes. In order to obtain certain information contained in the register by the parties, an application has to be made to the Registrar with the appropriate fees attached. The Registrar on receiving the application would issue the information required to the parties concerned.
  • If any marriage has been performed by the ‘Anand Karaj’, but not recorded in the Marriage Register, such a marriage will still be valid and legal.
  • Registration or recording of a marriage in the register under the Act, saves the parties the obligation of getting their marriage registered under some other law enforced at that time, including the State Act.

Download – Punjab / Chandigarh Marriage Application Form: Click Here

Punjab Government Issued Certificate : Click Here         Website: Click Here

Punjab Government Marriage Proofs: Click Here

Third Party Marriage Registration Service: Click Here

* Please note that we accept no responsibility or are under any legal obligation for the services provided by third parties.

Guideline For Immigration Issues

U.S. immigration law permits a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) to file an immigrant petition to bring their spouse to live in the United States as a green card holder. Many of our clients ask what type of documentation they need to show the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to prove their family relationship. We have provided a non-exhaustive list of documents we recommend our clients to include with their marriage-based petition:

  1. Proof of family relationship. Include a copy of your marriage certificate and if you were or your spouse was previously married, also include proof that these previous marriages were legally terminated (e.g. divorce judgment, death certificate).
  2. Documentation showing joint ownership of property. If you and your spouse jointly own a residence or other real estate, provide a deed with both your names. Proof of other jointly-owned property may also be included (e.g. car, time-share contract).
  3. Proof of joint residence. If you are renting, provide a copy of your lease with both spouses names. You may also include copies of utility bills with both names or other relevant correspondence such as health club family memberships, etc.
  4. Documentation showing commingling of finances. We recommend that spouses include copies of their joint bank account statements, joint tax returns, joint credit card statements, and evidence of joint investments. We also ask that our clients provide documentation that shows spouses are in each other’s life/health insurance or pension/retirement account as beneficiaries.
  5. Birth certificates of children in common. If you have children in common, make sure to provide copies of their birth or adoption certificates.
  6. Affidavits of people who can attest to the bona fides of the marriage. USCIS expects to see a number of affidavits from third parties who can affirm that they have personal knowledge of your marital relationship and can provide details in the form of a sworn affidavit. Each affidavit must contain the full name and address of the person making the affidavit; date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit; and complete information and details explaining how the person acquired his or her knowledge of your marriage. Ideally, these individuals are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
  7. Any other relevant documentation to establish that there is an ongoing marital union. This includes photos of the spouses before and during the marriage, tracing the progress of the relationship from courtship to present. If the spouses do not have children but have pets together, provide photos and documentation showing joint care giving (e.g. vet documents, pet registration, etc). We also ask each spouse to include their own affidavits stating in their own voice how they met and how they intend to share their life together. For couples currently not living together, we recommend also providing emails, texts, and letters between spouses, as well as other relevant and persuasive evidence showing their intent to eventually live together at the soonest feasible opportunity.