In a bid to control the increasing rate of divorce in the country, parents and relatives have been advised against pressuring
their relations into marriage.

Mr. Stephen Nortey, Tema Metropolitan Marriage and Divorce Registrar said even though parents have the right to guide and advice their children on marital issues, the decision to marry should be left to the individual.

Mr. Nortey, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Friday said most people who entered into marriage due to pressures mounted on them by relatives and friends often end up in divorce.

He said a total of 46 customary divorces were recorded by his outfit in 2008 compared to the 32 handled in 2007.

The Marriage and Divorce Registrar however, noted that the figure does not depict the actual divorce rate in the metropolis since the registry only handles customary divorce cases, while the circuit courts have the jurisdiction to dissolve ordinance marriages.

The Registry registered a total of 2,845 marriages in 2008 over the 2,779 registered in 2007.

Mr Nortey stated that the total comprised 2,665 ordinance and 180 customary, adding that, a total of 2,605 and 174 ordinance and customary marriages respectively were registered in 2007.

He explained that monogamous marriages were registered under ordinance while polygamous marriages went into the customary register.

Throwing light on other factors contributing to the increase in divorce cases, he noted that even though people attain the legal marriage age before entering into it most of them were immature.

Due to immaturity, spouses could not properly handle challenges in their marriages leading to divorces, he said and therefore advised aspiring couples to acquire knowledge on marriage before venturing into it.

Urging couples to be committed to the information and teachings acquired during marriage counselling, Mr Nortey encouraged people to take firm decisions on marriage even in the midst of pressures.

Touching on the adaptation of husband’s surname by married women, he said an ordinance marriage must be gazetted before a woman could use the surname of her husband, adding however that, there was no provision for the gazetting of customary marriages.