Wednesday Jul 17, 2024
Wednesday Jul 17, 2024

Second-Marriage laws in Nepal

Polygamy and bigamy are considered as illegal in Nepal and also unethical behaviour for the Nepalese society

2022 Apr 26, 6:06, Kathmandu

In Nepali culture, marriage is a social, cultural, emotional, and as well as legal connection between husband and wife. According to the Country Code, Muluki Ain, 1963, last amended in 2007, marriage is such a bond which is entered upon one’s free will and consent. In conversation with advocate Sallu Tiwari, she says that, “If both couples disagree, can’t stay with each other, have mutual consent or if they are not living together for more than 3 years, then they are allowed to divorce and the process might not take that long.”

“However, in some cases if the spouses do not agree to reconcile between them even after being reminded and convinced by the court to that effect, the court will affect divorce one year of the filing of the petition. And after being divorced legally, then only the second marriage can take place”, she adds.  

Advocate Sallu Tiwari. Photo: Sallu Tiwari
Advocate Sallu Tiwari. Photo: Sallu Tiwari

Who gets child custody?

Tiwari explains, “When a divorce takes place and the couple has a child, the process of divorce and child custody requires the sanction of court and needs different authority in a legal process.” According to the Common statutory provisions of Nepal, the born child will get the mutual guardianship of the parents even after separation, and the right of either parent to their child’s custody is equal. Correspondingly, the Child Support Standards Act, after getting a divorce, the court will decide which of them will get the authority over child custody. And according to law in Nepal, both of the parents can file for custody and fight for the case in their favour; if a child is under the age of 18. On the contrary, if the child is under the age of 21, then both parents should take the responsibility equally. 

Lately, second marriage practices have dramatically risen despite its restriction and made punishable under the existing laws. According to existed law of 2002, if women are harassed physically or psychologically, husband establish a sexual relationship with other women, incapable producing children, or affected by sexual transmitted diseses (HIV/AIDS), then women are allowed to give a divorce. 

And in the case of divorce, there will be equal distribution of property between the spouses and women do not have to return that property even if she marries another man. However, if she had a child, in that condition she has to hand over that property to her very child.  

Is 2nd marriage legal in Nepal? 

“Marrying more than one is regarded as illegal in Nepal. If one does marry to more than one, then it is not considered as marriage and they are not allowed to register their marriage”, says Tiwari. As polygamy and bigamy are illegal and also immoral behaviour for the Nepalese society, only one wife and one husband are allowed. If one does so, then they are punished under the existing laws in Nepal. 

Advocate Gopal Prasad Bhandari. Photo: Facebook/Gopal Prasad Bhandari
Advocate Gopal Prasad Bhandari. Photo: Facebook/Gopal Prasad Bhandari

In which condition male and female are allowed for second marriage in Nepal?

According to section 9, it allows a man to marry a second time if his first wife is suffering from incurable venereal disease, is insane or paralyzed, goes blind, has failed to give birth within the first 10 years of marriage, or has agreed to live separately after taking her share of property, in such a case, women are not allowed to divorce but men are allowed to marry a second time. Advocate Gopal Prasad Bhandari adds, “For females, according to the law of Nepal, after marriage, if a wife is abandoned, cruelly treated, or husband brought or kept another female, the first wife is entitled to share the couple's half property.”

What is the punishment for a second marriage in Nepal?

Bhandari says, “In a marriage, if any person winds up another marriage or keeps wife in violation of the law, then he will be liable to imprisonment for a term from one to five years and to a fine of Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000.” If a woman engages knowingly to a married man and becomes his wife, then she will also be punished accordingly. 

National Civil Code forbids a man to get married before getting divorce but for the women it is not the same. Women are not forbidden from having a second marriage. However, after getting involved in a second marriage, they do not get property from her husband. 



Second-Marriage Laws nepal polygamy bigamy unethical behaviour Nepalese society illegal culture Marriage social cultural emotional legal connection Husband Wife petition filing advocate Sallu Tiwari Advocate Gopal Prasad Bhandari
Nepal's First Online News Portal
Published by Nepalnews Pvt Ltd
Editor: Raju Silwal
Information Department Registration No. 1505 / 076-77


Kathmandu, Nepal,


[email protected]

Terms of Use Disclaimer
© NepalNews. 2021 All rights reserved. | Nepal's First News Portal