Conclusion of marriage
Who can conclude marriage
Marriage can be concluded by anyone
- who is 18 years old
- who is not married or whose registered partnership is not in force.
...and with whom?
Marriage is not allowed between close relatives. Therefore marriage is forbidden:
- between a child and his/her parent as well as between siblings and half siblings
- when one of those intending to marry is a descendant of the other’s brother or sister (e.g. uncle and niece)
- between an adopted child and the adoptive parent.
In the two latter cases marriage is, however, permissible under permission of the Ministry of Justice.
Examination of impediments to marriage
Before the ceremony, those intending to marry must together request an examination of impediments to marriage. The request is presented to the Local Register Office. The impediments to marriage can also be examined by a parish of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church or the Greek Orthodox Church if the engaged persons belong or one of them belongs to the parish. When requesting an examination of impediments to marriage, those intending to marry have to sign an assurance stating that there is no impediment to the intended marriage.
Certificate of the examination of impediments to marriage
When the examiner of the impediments to marriage has established that no impediments exists for the marriage, he shall issue a certificate thereof to those intending to marry. The certificate may not be issued earlier than on the seventh day after the request for an examination of impediments to marriage.
The certificate on the examination of impediments to marriage is valid for four months after its issue. After this period, a marriage cannot be concluded until the impediments have been re-examined.
The preconditions for a religious ceremony
A religious marriage ceremony can be concluded:
- in an Evangelical-Lutheran Church
- in a Greek Orthodox Church
- in such other religious community, a member of which has a licence to perform marriage ceremonies.
A religious marriage ceremony cannot be performed before the impediments to marriage have been examined and a certificate thereof has been issued to those intending to marry. In addition, the right to a religious marriage ceremony depends on the own rules of each religious community. Each religious community itself decides on these other terms of a religious marriage ceremony.
The preconditions of a civil marriage ceremony
A civil marriage ceremony can always be performed when the impediments to marriage have been examined and a certificate thereof has been issued to those intending to marry.
Who performs the ceremony?
Under the Marriage Act, a religious marriage ceremony may be performed by:
- a minister of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church
- a minister of the Greek Orthodox Church
- a person who has the right to perform marriage ceremonies in a registered religious community.
Civil marriage ceremony shall be performed by:
- a Chief Judge of a District Court, a District Judge and a Junior District Judge
- a Trainee District Judge assigned to perform marriage ceremonies
- a Head of a Local Register Office, a District Registrar and a Notary Public working at a Local Register Office.