Marriage is considered to be a legal process in most countries, and there are often specific requirements that must be met in order for a marriage to be recognized by the government. In Qatar, the process of getting married is generally straightforward, and there are specific rules and regulations that govern the process.
In order to get married in Qatar, both parties must be at least 18 years old and must be legally eligible to marry. This usually requires the presentation of various documents, such as birth certificates, passports, and residency permits. If one or both parties are not Qatari nationals, they may also need to obtain a Certificate of No Objection from their embassy or consulate.
Once the necessary documents have been obtained, the couple can then apply for a marriage license from the Ministry of Justice. This process typically involves filling out an application form and paying a fee, after which the couple will be given a date for their wedding ceremony.
On the day of the wedding, the couple will typically go to the courthouse or other designated location to complete the legal formalities of the marriage. This may involve signing a marriage contract or other legal documents, and may be overseen by a judge or other official.
General Practices for marriages in Qatar
In ancient times, it was not uncommon for cousins to marry each other as a means of reducing conflicts and strengthening family ties within a close-knit tribal community. However, over time, these practices evolved and today, the process of getting married typically involves the groom taking the lead.
Negotiations regarding dowry may occur between male elders from both families, and in some cases, the potential bride and groom are allowed to meet and converse briefly. Once an agreement has been reached, the marriage ceremony can take place, with both the bride and groom providing individual consent to the Maulana.
At the ceremony, the groom and his father-in-law may shake hands, and the marriage is officially sanctioned in the presence of two witnesses. While customs surrounding marriage have changed over time, the importance of familial ties and community remains a cornerstone of many marriage traditions.
What is Sharia Law?
In Qatar, it is important to note that Muslim marriages are governed by Sharia Law. According to this law, Muslim men are permitted to have up to four wives, as long as they can provide financial support to all of them. However, due to the increasing financial burden on families, this practice has become increasingly rare in recent times.
Furthermore, women are becoming more financially independent and assertive both within and outside the home, which has resulted in changes to the law itself. It is now possible for Muslim women to include a restrictive clause in their marriage contract to prevent their husbands from marrying again. This reflects the changing dynamics of society and the importance of ensuring that women have a greater say in their personal lives.
The Sharia Court of Qatar can be found on Al Rayyan Road in the Musheirib area near Mannai Ra. While some countries that abide by Sharia law allow for marriages between Muslim men and Christian women, the court in Qatar prohibits such unions.
The Qatari government provides a Marriage Fund to married couples, but before receiving it, they must understand their obligations as spouses and educate themselves accordingly.
Regarding divorce, a Qatari man can easily divorce his wife by verbally stating it three times. However, a woman must seek assistance from the court if she wishes to obtain a divorce. If the divorce is granted, the man is obligated to provide maintenance to his ex-wife and any children they may have.
Laws regarding Separation
Even for expatriates, getting married in Qatar is not a difficult process, provided they meet the general requirements set by both religion and civil society. Likewise, obtaining a divorce by mutual consent is usually a matter of only a few months, as per the provisions of the Qatari Family Law No. 22 of 2006. The State of Qatar recognizes only Christian marriages performed in a church and registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, obtaining a marriage certificate involves a somewhat lengthy process, including translation into Arabic and registration with the Ministry of Justice. Cohabitation without marriage is strictly prohibited in Qatar.
Marriages of Expats in Qatar
If expatriate workers fulfill the religious and civil requirements of Qatar, they are allowed to get married in the country. In some cases, civil marriages can be performed by embassy and consulate staffs, provided all necessary conditions are met. Non-Muslim places of worship such as churches can be used for religious ceremonies. Those seeking more information about these processes can inquire with the embassy.
The Qatar government acknowledges Christian marriages as a form of non-Muslim marriage, and permits such marriages to be held in registered churches. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has listed churches authorized to perform such marriages. For non-Muslims, Christian weddings can offer a means of obtaining legal recognition. The Catholic and Anglican churches are authorized to conduct such marriages, but have their own regulations and fees. Documents required for a Christian marriage include a marriage preparation course certificate, copies of passports and visas, a certificate of capacity to marry, baptismal and confirmation certificates, and a ‘capacity to marry’ certificate issued by the Catholic Church.
To comply with the legal requirements, you must submit both the marriage certificate and its Arabic translation to the Land Registration and Legalization Office located at the Ministry of Justice in West Bay. The Ministry will keep a copy of both documents for its records.
For more detail, visit the website https://portal.www.gov.qa/wps/portal/topics/Religion+and+Community/Marriage+and+Family
Here are the contact numbers of some recognized churches in Qatar:
- Anglican Church – 4416 5726
- Catholic Church – 4490 1907
- Greek Orthodox – 4487 2032
- Coptic Church – 5584 0395
- IDDCC – 4431 919
Before getting married in Qatar
here are the points to consider before getting married in Qatar:
- Understand the legal and religious requirements for getting married in Qatar.
- Make sure you have all the necessary documents, including passport, residency permit, birth certificate, and certificate of no objection.
- Choose the type of marriage ceremony you want, whether it’s a civil or religious ceremony.
- For non-Muslims, consider getting married in a church that is registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Understand the process for obtaining a marriage certificate, including getting it translated into Arabic and registering it with the Ministry of Justice.
- Consider premarital counseling to help prepare for married life and understand your legal rights and responsibilities in Qatar.
- Be aware of the legal and cultural differences in marriage practices in Qatar compared to your home country.
- Consider the financial implications of getting married, including the cost of the marriage ceremony and potential expenses related to spousal and family sponsorship.
- Take into account the residency and work permit implications for both spouses, as well as any potential challenges related to obtaining permanent residency or citizenship in Qatar.
- Ensure that you and your partner have a clear understanding of each other’s expectations and goals for the marriage, and have open communication to work through any potential challenges or conflicts.