Every individual enjoys the freedom to marry and so according to Section 26 of the Contract Act, “every agreement in restraint of the marriage of any person, other than a minor, is void.” The restraint may be general or partial but the agreement is void, and therefore, an agreement agreeing not to marry at all, or a certain person, or a class of persons, or for a fixed period, is void. However, an agreement restraining the marriage of a minor is valid under the Section.

It is interesting to note that a promise to marry a particular person does not imply any restraint of marriage, and is, therefore, a valid contract.

Illustrations :

(a) A agrees with B for good consideration that she will not marry C. It is a void agreement.


(b) A agrees with B that she will marry him only. It is a valid contract of marriage.