A customary marriage is a marriage that is conducted in adher- ence to communal customs of either a party or both parties to the marriage. Categorizing by history, we have 2 categories of customary marriages.
1. The existing customary marriages that were conducted prior to 1st August 2017
2. The new customary marriages conducted after 1st August 2017
Which law governs registration of Customary Marriage? As per the law, all Customary Marriages must be registered. The Registration of customary marriages in Kenya is governed by the Marriage (Customary Marriage) Rules, 2017, under the Marriage Act, 2014.
The Marriage (Customary Marriage) Rules, 2017 rules were issued on the 9th of June 2017 video Gazette Notice Number 5345. The Notice stated that all customary marriages be regis- tered as from the
1st of August 2017.
According to the law, the new customary marriages conducted after 1st August 2017, should be registered within 6 months after conducting the marriage and completing the relevant customary rites. While the existing customary marriages that were conducted prior to 1st August 2017, ought to be registered within 3 years after enactment of the Marriage Act, a period that lapsed on 31st July 2020. However, under section 96(4) the Cabinet Secretary may extend the registration period by a Gazette Notice.