Concept Of Marriage, Divorce And Second Marriage In Christianity

by  Adv. Rupa K.N  




3 mins


second marriage in christianity


There are so many religions and cultures in India, and every religion has its own marriage rituals, customs, beliefs, and laws. One has to fulfill all the requirements of marriage to be considered a legally married couple. It is a universal saying that a person marries once and has that marriage relationship his whole life, but due to some reasons, some people plan to remarry also. Here we are going to discuss the brief of marriage and Second marriage in Christianity.

What is Marriage?

Marriage is a lifelong institution that is conceived, composed, and established by two individuals who want to gain benefits for themselves and each other that are only achievable via a healthy marriage they themselves build. Typically, the contractual marriage agreement means that the couple will be bound by one other’s legal duties for the rest of their lives or until they decide to be divorced. Being married also legitimizes sexual activities that take place within the marriage. Marriage is commonly thought to play a significant part in upholding morality and culture.

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Laws governing Marriage, Divorce, and Second Marriage in India


The Indian Christian Marriage Act of 1872 governs the solemnization of marriages between people who identify as Christians. Any marriage that is not solemnized in compliance with the Act is void, according to the Act. Christians may perform Christian weddings under Section 5 of the Act by:

Any clergyman of the Church of Scotland, any person who has obtained episcopal ordination, and any minister of religion who has been granted a license under the Act. A Marriage Registrar is designated under Section 7 of the Act. Any individual authorized to issue certificates of marriage under Section 9.


The Divorce Act of 1869 contains the laws governing divorce, judicial separation, and related issues. Any spouse may file for divorce under Section 18 of the Act using the reasons listed in Section 19.

Section 19: Reasons for Divorce Decree:

  • The parties are within the banned degree of consanguinity or affinity.
  • The respondent was impotent at the time of marriage and the institution of the suit; both parties were insane or idiots at the time of marriage.
  • The parties are within the prohibited degree of affinity. 
  • That both parties’ ex-spouses were still alive when they got married and that the marriage was still legally binding at the time.
  • Nothing shall limit the High Court’s ability to declare a marriage null and void on the grounds that either party’s consent was coerced or fraudulently acquired.

According to Section 10, the wife may request the divorce on the following grounds:

  • That her spouse had stopped claiming to be a Christian and had engaged in a kind of marriage with another lady.
  • Rape, sodomy, and bestiality. 
  • Adultery paired with cruelty. 
  • Adultery coupled with desertion without justifiable cause for two years or more. 
  • Bigamy with adultery. Marriage with another woman with adultery.
  • When there are accusations of adultery, the adulterer should be included as a party under Section 11.

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Section 57-59 of The Divorce Act of 1869 deals with the Remarriage laws.

Section 57 states that after six months have passed since the date of a High Court order confirming a District Judge’s marriage dissolution decision, or after six months have passed since the date of any High Court decree dissolving a marriage, and no appeal has been filed against that decision to the High Court in its appellate jurisdiction or in the Supreme Court, and after any such appeal has been dismissed, or after any such appeal results in a divorce, the parties are free to remarry.

Section 58 states that Any English clergyman is not required to officiate at the weddings of people who have been divorced for adultery. No priest in Holy Orders of the Church of England shall be required to solemnize the marriage of any person whose previous marriage has been dissolved due to their adultery, nor shall they be subject to any legal action, fine, or censure for doing so or declining to do so.

Section 59 states that when any Minister of any Church or Chapel of the said Church declines to conduct such marriage service between any individuals who would be entitled to have the same service performed in such Church or Chapel but for such refusal, such Minister should let any other Minister in Holy Orders of the said Church, competent to function within the diocese in which such Church or Chapel is situated, to perform such marriage-service in such Church or Chapel.

Through these Sections, we came to know that Second Marriage in Christianity is allowed, but there are some situations, and second marriage can be performed only when those situations arise.

Situations in which Second Marriage in Christianity is permitted

  • Determine whether a troubled marriage can be rescued before doing all in your power to do so. However, that would not be at the expense of the children and the damaged spouse’s emotional, physical, and mental well-being. Divorce and remarriage are both permissible if the relationship cannot be saved.
  • After a partner’s passing, remarriage is always permitted.

Punishment for second marriage when the spouse is alive (Bigamy)

Bigamy is illegal in India and is punishable by the country’s penal code as a crime against marriage. Muslims are exempt from the bigamy statute, which is applicable to Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Parsi, and Christians.

Any person who marries while their husband or wife is still alive, yet the marriage is invalid because it occurred while they were still alive, will be penalized with any type of jail for a time that may be as long as seven years as well as a fine.

This section does not apply to anyone whose marriage to their spouse has been declared null and void by a court of competent jurisdiction, nor does it apply to anyone who marries again while their spouse is still alive if their spouse has been continuously absent from them for a period of seven years and has not been heard from during that period of time.

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Divorce, the death of one of the spouses are some reasons because of which Second marriage is mostly performed. After reading above it is clear that Second Marriage in Christianity is allowed but in very few situations, mostly Christians and even every person believes that once someone is married that marriage is forever, and breaking marriage is considered as a Sin in Christianity. Without the situations mentioned above, if any Christian remarries then he or she has to face the consequences. To know more about Divorce, Marriage, and Second Marriage in Christianity and their proper procedures, opt for Family legal advice here.

There is a proper procedure for marriage Divorce in Christianity which have several requirements but when we talk about Second marriage. To know the answer to these questions and to get a proper advice on its procedure, get online legal advice.

Adv. Rupa K.N

Adv. Rupa K.N


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Advocate Rupa K.N, with over 24 years of independent practice, specialises in providing legal expertise, advice and guidance to a broad range of customers. Having been practising law independently for several years after doing her B.A. LLB from Bangalore University and PGDM from the National Institute of Personnel Management.

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