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Customary, Islamic & Ordinance Marriages, PNDCL111, Causes of Divorce,

Customary, Islamic & Ordinance Marriages, PNDC Law 111, Causes of Divorce,

Customary, Islamic & Ordinance Marriages, PNDCL 111 on Inheritance, Causes of Divorce, Bigamy,




Customary, Islamic & Ordinance Marriages, PNDCL 111, Causes of Divorce,

Types Of Marriage

-customary marriage/traditional
-Islamic marriage
-civil/ordinance or statutory marriage



customary marriage/traditional

It is done according to the customs and traditions of the ethnic group and community in which the partners come from especially that of the woman. It is the first step in all other marriages in Ghana. It is highly polygamous but in Ghana it is rather polygyny. There are variations in customs in the different areas. No written (or formal) contract. Presentation of drinks seals the marriage contract. Marriage dowry/bride price varies from area to area or among groups. This marriage can be registered under PNDC law 112.
Bride price/wealth/dowry
It is a property or money given to the woman’s family as a compensation for the loss of the services from their daughter.



Islamic marriage

It is the type of marriage contracted based on Islamic rules and regulations. It Conforms to Islamic laws. It can be registered under the Mohammedan Marriage and Divorce Register. It allows for polygyny thus a man can marry up to four (4) wives. Four things are required for the contraction;
-bride price
-Wali- the bride guidance
-Two witnesses
-the imam


Civil Or Ordinance marriage

It is contracted based on the provisions in the constitution regarding how marriage should be contracted. It can be done at the court, church or mosque by registrar of marriage, magistrate or marriage officer. It is highly monogamous thus one man one wife.
Marrying again after ordinance marriage is an offence called bigamy



It is an offence committed by a man or a woman who marries again after marrying under ordinance law.


Regulations governing ordinance/civil marriage

-customary rites should be performed prior to the civil or ordinance marriages
-Each of the couple should not be legally married
-license should be obtained from the court
-event should be published twenty one days prior to the marriage.
-ideally couples should be 18 years or more.


It is a written objection or note against the contraction of civil or ordinance marriage based on legal reasons.

Church blessing without registration has no legal backing but is only a requirement of the church.


Difference between ordinance marriage and church blessing

Ordinance marriage is contracted by the legislation and clearly states the rules that governs it. Marriage under ordinance is monogamous. It is independent from religious influence
Church blessing is a blessing of a marriage contracted under customary law by the church. It is not an ordinance marriage and does not have any legal support. The objective of this marriage is to give the union the approval of the Christian church.


Difference between Islamic marriage and ordinance

-Islamic marriage is contracted based on Islamic laws but ordinance marriage is contracted based on legislation provisions in the 1992 constitution.

-in Islamic marriage no legal document is required but in ordinance marriage a license is issued out.

-in Islamic marriage age is not a factor but in ordinance marriage the parties should be eighteen years or above.

-Islamic marriage allows for polygeny but ordinance marriage is strictly monogamous

Grounds for divorce under ordinance marriage

-if one partner dies
-if the couple do not live as husband and wife for a period of five years
-if a spouse commits an adultery and the other partner can not live with him or her.
-if one partner commits bigamy and the other partner can willingly call for divorce

Marriage laws and prohibitions

-marriage is for life
-marriage is by mutual consent not forced
-marriage should be with parental consent
.-marriage is prohibited between close blood relations

Social and Legal implications of Marriage

Marriage is a Social bond

This means marriage involves other people besides the man and the woman, the families of both man and woman are linked together.

Marriage is a Legal contract:

This is because it is regarded as a contract with legal implications or it is recognized by law.

Factors that ensure the Success of marriage

-Age at marriage
-Both are independent and mature
-Love each other
-Adequate preparation
-Good communication
-Economic security
-Financial stability
-Equality in relationship.


It is a legal dissolution of marriage when the couple no longer want to stay together as husband and wife.

Grounds for divorce under customary law PNDCL112

-willful neglect of wife and children
-impotency on the sides of the man
-sexual intercourse which is prohibited by customary law e.g. anal sex
-Adultery on the sides of the woman

Provisions for divorced parties

-both parties are responsible for the welfare and the custody of children
-distribution of properties that the parties might have acquired during the marriage period.
-visitation right
-Payment of alimony or compensation for families to be part of the divorce process

Factors contributing to marriage failure/divorce

-poor communication
-in-law interference
-inadequate preparation before marriage
-lack of trust between couples
-inability to have children
-financial difficulties
-differences in expectations

Qualities parent expect from prospective son-in-law or daughter in-law

-respect for in-laws
-hardworking partner
-should be fertile to give birth
-should be physically and mentally healthy
-should be financially independence especially the man.


It is the transfer of properties from a decease to surviving individuals

Testate succession

It occurs when a person dies leaving a will

Intestate succession

It occurs when a person dies without leaving a will.

The law that shows how someone who dies intestate properties should be shared is called PNDCL 111 (Provisional National Defense Council Law 111)

A will

It is a legal document that shows how someone’s properties should be shared when dead.

Customary, Islamic & Ordinance Marriages, PNDCL111, Causes of Divorce,

Types of inheritance

-patrilineal inheritance
-matrilineal inheritance

Patrilineal inheritance

This is the type of inheritance where children inherit their father’s properties e.g. Akuapem, Mossi, Krobo, Dagomber,
Kusasi, Bisa, Frafra Builsa Kasena, Eve etc.

Matrilineal inheritance

This is the type of inheritance where children inherit their mother’s (uncle’s) properties eg. Nzema, Ashanti, Ahanta, Safwie, Nfanti etc.

If someone dies intestate it means;
The person died without making a will

If someone dies testate it means;
The person died leaving behind a will

Main ideas of intestate succession law (PNDCL 111)

-if a person dies leaving a child and a spouse, all the household properties go to them e.g. TV, house, furniture, car etc.

-if a person dies without a child or a spouse, the properties will be shared based on the custom of the ethnic the person is coming from.

-if a person dies without a child, spouse or a family, then the properties will be transferred to the state.

-if the decease left a child but no spouse, three- fourth ) of the properties go to the child.


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