Things to know before getting officially married in Mauritius

One of the milestones in a person’s life is probably the wedding. For those Mauritians fellows who have not passed this milestone yet, it is good to know that when officially marrying someone, you still have a few critical decisions to take for the future of the couple.

The paper works

Once you have taken the firm decision of getting married, you need to start the necessary paper works at the civil status office (nearest to the future wife’s home). It consists of registering your application, which will then will get published on the notice boards of the following two civil status offices :

  1. The one where you made the application and
  2. The one nearest to the place of residence of the future husband.

To note that

  • Recent birth certificates (issued under 3 months) and National Identity Cards are required.
  • Both future spouses need to be (physically) present on the island at least 7 days before the application date.
  • The wedding can take place 10 days as from the application date.
  • During this period of time, people can officially object to your wedding.  Legal procedures will be followed and the wedding can be postponed if needed.
  • Two witnesses will need to be present at the time of wedding
  • You do not have any fee to pay.

Additionally, you can choose to get married at home or some other dream location instead of the civil status office. In this case, you will be required to pay a fee of approximately Rs1500 (+ transport for the civil status officer).

Choosing a matrimonial system

In very simple terms, the future couple needs to choose one matrimonial system among the three available. The matrimonial system allows the spouses to specify legally how their existing property (assets) as well as those acquired after the marriage will be divided upon legal separation(divorce) or when one of them passes away.

You might perhaps already start thinking about it. A self-explanatory pamphlet is freely handled over to the future couple upon application.

What’s In a Name?

Now, for girls, you can opt to officially

  • use your husband’s surname along with your first name(s)
  • keep your maiden name, together with the surname (family name) of your husband.
  • keep your maiden name only

And as surprising as it can be, husbands can also choose to keep their future wife’s family name but this can be done only through additional legal means (an affidavit in court)

Remember, when you are committing yourself to a relationship, you need to take these decisions together with your partner,  as if the decision of getting married was not already critically high. I will end with a sarcastic (and hilarious) quote of a colleague :

“Souvent des fois lors d’une relation, le couple se retrouve au bord du precipice. Cependant avec le marriage, c’est un grand pas vers l’avant” (Hemant B, Septembre 2012)

Happy married life to all new couples 🙂

It might be possible that some of the information above might not be correct. Please seek official information from the Civil Status offices if needed.

22 thoughts on “Things to know before getting officially married in Mauritius

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  1. Civil status office is well organized with on-line connection to documentation. I once used them to search and confirm parental relationship for a guy who was adopted to Europe. The civil status office got the birth certificate of the guy immediately. The information above for marriage procedures is also valid for foreigners except that the foreigner will need other documents.

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  2. Marriage is a new world. remember it takes two to make this journey an exciting one. At civil status they wont get you the user mannual as to how to make the marriage work. AND on another note Marriage is worth it. 😀

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  3. “And as surprising as it can be, husbands can also choose to keep their future wife’s family name but this can be done only through additional legal means (an affidavit in court)”

    This is not correct. A husband can only attach his wife’s name to his, and this must be done at the time of the marriage. There has to be a declaration to the civil status officer conducting the marriage.

    Eg, If Mr X wants to marry Miss Y, Mr X can attach Miss Y’s name to his and he’ll be called Mr X-Y.

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      1. What
        would happen if you are already 18, or 21, or 35, or even 62? Afraid of having
        ties cut with the family? Those who would resort to such extreme measures would
        anyway not be worth seeing anymore.

        Incidentally, in
        The Independent there was a (funny) piece of article which could be more or
        less put inparallel with what you said above:

        French
        women have indeed lived in a world where they carried their father’s name and
        then their husband’s. All changed in 2005 when a law allowed children to be
        given their mother’s name, and grooms to adopt their bride’s name. It was a
        landmark rule. Last year, I suggested my husband-to-be embrace the glorious
        name of Poirier (“pear tree” in French). He politely declined. To be
        honest, I never envisaged adopting his. Egalité.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/agns-poirier-call-me-madame-au-contraire-7440896.html

        I still remember
        how my mother was angry because she had to swear she would obey her
        husband-to-be (which she never really did anyway). I don’t recall my wife had to say anything like that when we
        married in that small dusty room of the Mahebourg district court. Times change…

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    1. I might not be the ideal person to reply to this but I guess that an example might be ideal:
      1. Someone getting married but parents do not agree because of x familial reasons.
      2. Someone getting married but a member of one of the couple reveal serious things kept secret till now.

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  4. Religious wedding is the only legal way. The “official/legal” wedding set by the gov legislation is only an official settlement of property/goods between 2 partners.

    Happy wedding, future couples 😛

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      1. What I mean is, that religious wedding is a bond in relationship between 2 individuals. And in all religions this bond has a set of rules for the individuals have to abide in respect of the husband and the wife.

        As for “official/legal” wedding within the legislation set only rules on property/goods/wealth etc and is only materialistic. What is the point to “officialise” your wedding if its only a matter of wealth? Unless that you only have the intention to bond your wealth.

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      2. I think we are misunderstanding each other. I was relating the facts between religious wedding and the legal one.
        They both differ in rules.

        If you consult any religious jurisdiction about wedding, they are ethically right in respect to the husband, the wife, children, and the family relationship. But what about the legal legislation, they only set rules for materialistic settlement between the 2 parties. And lol, they cater for divorce as well. Whereas in religious wedding rules, it is a sin if you divorce for mere reasons.

        Again, what is the point to “officialise” your wedding if you have to point out your intention in case of separation. The fundamental logic of wedding is to fasten the relationship. And as for Divine rules you have to accept that nothing can contradicts it.

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  5. hello everyone, I have a question about to get marry, i just want to know how much time all your should be valid?? thanks for the help

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  6. Thanks for the useful info. Does anyone know what happens if a bride is curently using her husband’s surname and she would like to change to having her maiden name as well as her husband’s surname..what is the procedure? Thx 🙂

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