Getting married in Lebanon

Are you planning to get married in Lebanon? There are several things you need to consider.

In Lebanon it is not possible to conclude a civil marriage. You can only marry at a religious authority such as the church or the muslim court. 

The religious marriage follows other rules than the Dutch civil marriage. The rights and obligations between husband and wife are not equal. Read more about marriage in Lebanon.

Dutch requirements for marrying or entering into a registered partnership

If you are a Dutch national and you wish to marry or enter into a registered partnership you will need to comply with the following requirements:

  • You and your partner must be 18 years or older. If you are under 18 and you marry abroad your marriage will not be recognised in the Netherlands until you are both 18 years old.
  • You and your partner may not already be married to or have a registered partnership with someone else.
  • If you are under guardianship you will need the permission of your guardian or of the limited jurisdiction judge ('kantonrechter').
  • The following family members are forbidden to marry each other or enter into a registered partnership with each other: parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, and brothers and sisters.

Obtaining permission from the country in which you wish to marry or enter into a registered partnership

Are you planning to marry or enter into a registered partnership abroad? If so, check whether this is permitted under the law of the country in question. To find out, you should consult the foreign authority responsible for conducting marriages and registering partnerships. You cannot marry at a Dutch embassy or consulate abroad.

Documents required for marriage or registered partnership outside the Netherlands

The foreign authority that conducts your marriage or registers your partnership can tell you which documents you require. These may include a copy of your birth certificate and a declaration of marital status

Registering a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership

You can register your foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership in the Dutch register. To do this, contact the municipality of The Hague’s Foreign Document Department.

Legalisation of a foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership

If you wish to register your foreign marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership in the Netherlands you will probably first need to have your foreign certificate legalised. This can be done by the authorities in the country where you were married. The Dutch embassy or consulate in that country may then also need to legalise the marriage certificate or certificate of registered partnership. You can find out more about what you need to do in the legalisation information for that country.

Marrying in this country or region

Documents to conclude a religious marriage in Lebanon

The religious authority (church or muslim court) decides which documents you need to present. Often you need a birth certificate and a certificate that proves that you are single or divorced:

  • a birth certificate you need to apply for at the municipality where you were born. 
  • a proof of being single or divorced you apply for at the municipality where you live. If you live outside the Netherlands you can ask the Dutch embassy in your country of residence for a consular statement.

Registration in the Lebanese civil registers

A religious marriage is only valid after registration in the Lebanese civil registers.

Do you nor your partner have the Lebanese nationality? Then you need to register your marriage at the Foreigner Civil Registration Department at the Ministry of Interior of Lebanon. The Civil Registration Department often asks for proof that you were both present in Lebanon at the time of the marriage.

Registration of a Lebanese marriage in the Netherlands

To be able to register your Lebanese marriage in the Netherlands you need to legalise 2 documents at the Dutch embassy in Beirut:

  1. the religious marriage certificate (if you concluded a marriage contract at the muslim court and the contract is older than 6 months, the muslim court needs to mention that your marriage is still valid).
  2. extract of the marriage registration in the civil registers.

Polygamous marriages are not recognized under Dutch law.