Since in India marriages are not legal contracts, how does a court infer marriage in India?

As living together is legal in India without marriage, having a biological child cannot be the proof of marriage in India.

If registration of marriage is not done, then how does the Government of India infer marriage.

What are the articles defining it?

  • Marriages in India are a legal status formed in particular ways set forth by law, whether or not they are contracts in the conventional sense.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 23:02

1 Answer 1


The main division is between religious marriage versus civil marriages, the latter governed by The Special Marriage Act, 1954, which is available to anyone. There are also marriage laws available under certain religions via The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, The Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937 and The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936, as well as The Anand Marriage Act, 1909 applicable to Sikh marriage, with a 2012 amendment (previously, Sikh marriages were treated as a subcase of Hindu marriages, as is the case for Jain and Buddhist marriages). There are no codified religious marriages for other religions such as Shinto.

  • Naturally, in any particular case where it is relevant, the existence of a marriage is a question of fact to be determined in the case in a two step process, first determining which statute applies, and then determining if the facts required to establish the marriage in the case have been proven, although of course, often a mere affidavit or brief statement in testimony under oath from someone with personal knowledge that X and Y are married will suffice and not be disputed.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 23:00

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