Many of us do not know the importance of marriage contracts in courts. In this article, you will learn more about marriage outside and inside the court, what are the pros and cons of each, and what are the steps and documents needed to ratify the marriage contract.


What is a marriage contract?

It is a document issued by a specialized court to document the marriage between a man and a woman, and the marriage is before a competent court in the presence of the spouses, or if the marriage contract is external, it needs to be ratified in the court as well.


What are the requirements to obtain a marriage contract within the governorates of Iraq?

In some governorates such as Baghdad, Kirkuk, Tikrit, the electronic reservation of the marriage contract has been activated (click here) to determine the date of review before the competent court. This was adapted as a measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Marriage contract applicants will have to conduct a medical check before submitting the form - click to find out the centers within the court’s geographical area.


They must include the following documents in electronic form when requesting a marriage contract:

First: The identification card (identity / unified national card) for the husband

Second: The identity card of the wife (unified national identity card).

Third: A colored photograph with a white background for the husband and the wife.

Fourth: A copy of the medical check.

For more information on how to complete the application using the electronic form, click here.


As for the rest of the Iraqi governorates, the spouses-to-be can go directly to the court to complete the procedures for the marriage contract, where the steps are as follows:

First: A marriage contract application form from the court.

Second: A medical check request form by a medical laboratory in the Department of Health, which is distributed free of charge in the Personal Status Court.

Third: Civil status ID and Iraqi nationality certificate.

Fourth: The testimony of two witnesses before the court on the marriage contract.

The marriage contract is issued on the same day by the court after completing these requirements. The legal fee for issuing the marriage contract is 5,250 Iraqi Dinars and a 1,000 Iraqi Dinars stamp fee for each certified copy.


What are the advantages of a marriage contract within the court?

First: Spouses are able to obtain the ration card, the unified card, and the housing card (Residence Card).

Second: It allows the child to be officially registered and to obtain his or her legal rights, such as a birth certificate, education, and health care.

Third: Marriage outside the court can lead to the husband’s imprisonment for six months or the payment of a fine, as the marriage contract outside the court in Iraq is an act punishable according to Law (10/5) of the Personal Status Law No. 188 of 1959.


What is the outside-court marriage?

It is a marriage that took place outside the court managed by a religious authority. It must be proven before the competent court to guarantee the rights of spouses and children.


What are the steps for attesting to an outside-court marriage contract?

First: Filing a legal case before the Personal Status Court.

Second:  the court refer both spouses to the court of investigation and then to the Misdemeanor Court.

Third: The Misdemeanor Court rules a fine of 50,000 (fifty thousand) Iraqi Dinars and refers the spouses to the Personal Status Court to ratify the marriage contract or issue a new marriage contract.


The legal fee for attesting a foreign marriage contract in an official case is 1,000-5,000 Iraqi Dinars and 1,000 Iraqi Dinars is the stamp fee.


What are the competent departments to certify the outside-marriage contract?

Competent Courts: Personal Status Courts and their affiliated departments, which fall within the geographic area of the person's residence.

- Investigation Court.

- Police station.

- Misdemeanor Court.



The Supreme Judicial Council - Iraqi marriage contract application form


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