Tema, Jan. 6, GNA - The Tema Municipal Assembly registered 2,825 marriages last year as against 2,044 in 2004. Out of the figure, 2,297 of the marriages were registered under the ordinance and 528 under customary law.
Mr Joseph Torsu, Marriage Counsellor of the Assembly, attributed the increase in marriage registration to education given to the public about the need to legalize their marriages and the mass registration exercise embarked upon by some companies for their workers. "Christians who want to take up positions in their churches are also required to legalize their marriages while some embassies demanded marriage certificates to prove applicant's claim of being married," He added.
He said to ensure the public was more enlightened on the need to register their marriages two churches within the Municipality were visited every month to educate the congregation. The Marriage Counsellor however, regretted that some people considered the registration of their marriage as bequeathing their properties to their spouse's while others believed it was expensive and therefore avoided it.
He stressed that registration of marriage was the only thing that bound couples and could be done without any merriment to reduce cost. Mr. Torsu said some churches conducted marriage ceremonies without issuing certificates and advised members of the congregation on the need to insist on the Ordinance Certificate Cap 127 from the Registrar General, the sole register of marriages in Ghana.
However, he explained that churches that were not qualified to issue certificates were to direct their members to the District and Municipal Assemblies to get their marriages registered.
About divorce the Marriage Counsellor said the Assembly recorded only five last year; and said the assembly usually tried to unite the couples but when it involved threat of life and death they were referred to the courts.
He advised couples on the need to be transparent and adjust to suit their conditions to make life bearable. To those yet to be married and especially the youth, Mt Torsu advised them against conditional marriage and also take their counselling serious to avoid divorce.