Types of Legal Marriages in South Africa

Understanding how a prenuptial agreement works can prevent litigation and protect your assets if your marriage doesn`t work out in the future. A marriage contract is a legally binding agreement between two people who want to get married. A prenuptial agreement often determines which spouse will retain property and other assets at the end of the marriage. Divorce cases are heard by the high courts or, since 2010, by the regional civil courts. A court has jurisdiction to entertain a divorce if one of the spouses is legally domiciled in the geographical jurisdiction of the court or if one of the spouses has his or her “habitual residence” (i.e. habitual residence in the jurisdiction) and has his or her habitual residence in South Africa for at least one year. Registered partnerships are legally recognized agreements that resemble civil marriages. They were originally created to allow same-sex couples legal recognition. Customary law in South Africa regulates laws relating to customary marriages (also known as traditional marriages). Basically, it is popular for regulating indigenous African customary laws that are made regarding habitual marriages, unions and lobola. 1.2 Monogamous marriages of heterosexual blacks were governed by the Black Administration Act 38 of 1927, which was partially repealed. Like civil marriages, there are three different types of matrimonial regimes available for ordinary marriages: It is important to understand the legal, financial and tax consequences of each regime in order to make an informed decision. If you marry without entering into a marriage contract, it automatically means that you are married in community of property.

Marriages can be classified according to their purpose and the definition of the relationship between two people. Prenuptial agreements may exist between the intended couples, and the terms attached to these contracts vary depending on what the couples agree to. Because the purpose of marriage is so diverse, there are different types of weddings in South Africa that you should be aware of. There are 3 different types of matrimonial property regimes recognized by South African law: civil marriages, habitual marriages and civil partnerships. The solemnization and registration of such marriages is administered by the Ministry of the Interior. According to the 2011 census, 36.7% of South Africans were married at the age of 20 or older. In 2011, a total of 173,215 new marriages were registered. The spouses may marry under a different matrimonial property regime by concluding a contract before a notary; To be enforceable against third parties, the contract must also be entered in the register of documents within three months of the date of performance. An antenuptial contract excludes community of property and community of profit or loss, so each spouse maintains a separate estate with separate assets and liabilities. The contract may also contain specific provisions on the management of property and its distribution after death or divorce. In the case of marriages concluded under a marriage contract since 1984, the recovery system applies to the marriage, unless expressly excluded in the contract. In the delimitation system, the spouses` property remains separate for the duration of the marriage, but at the time of death or divorce, their property is adjusted so that the difference in “provision” between the two estates is divided equally.

A “provision” is defined as the increase in the net value of the estate from the beginning of the marriage until its dissolution. [9] However, the compensation system does not apply if one of the estates is insolvent at the time of dissolution of the marriage. When calculating the adjustment, the minimum value that the estate of a party may have is zero; Negative estate values are not taken into account. There are three types of civil marriages: marriage in community of property; marriage resulting from community of property; and the marriage of community of property with restitution. However, a civil marriage takes place automatically in community of property, unless a marriage contract provides otherwise. There are three types of civil marriages in South Africa. These include civil marriage in community of property, marriage of community of property and marriage of community of property with restitution. South African law recognizes three different marriage regimes: civil marriages, civil partnerships and ordinary marriages. The Ministry of the Interior manages the registration of such marriages. The matrimonial property regime of an ordinary marriage, such as that of a civil marriage, may be inside or outside a community of property. Three conditions must be met for a normal marriage to be legally valid.

Registered partnerships or civil partnerships were introduced in South Africa in 2006 by the Civil Union Act, which also legalized same-sex marriage. Although civil partnerships are often associated with same-sex couples, they can also be formed by opposite-sex couples. Civil marriages have the same legal rights, duties and consequences as civil marriages. If you choose to marry in a community of property, the consequence is essentially that you and your fiancé will legally cease to exist as individuals and will be considered a unit for all commercial purposes. What you both bring to the marriage and everything you acquire during your marriage will be part of a joint estate in which you both have equal and undivided shares. If the marriage is dissolved, the joint estate will be divided into 2 and divided equally between the two of you. This is the most basic form of marriage and has the advantage that you do not need a notarized and registered contract, which saves you legal fees. Some also consider it the fairest way to get married. There are peculiarities of weddings in South Africa, so it is very important to understand them in order to make an informed decision. For example, a man may have more than one wife while a woman may not have more than one spouse, and this must exist between the other sexes.

But in 1998, there was a change, because the law then recognized various marriages, including polygamous unions. Then, in 2006, same-sex marriage was introduced. Similar to a civil marriage, the matrimonial regime of an ordinary marriage can be inside or outside the community of property. There are three conditions for an ordinary marriage to be legally valid. Thus, if a couple – regardless of gender – decides to marry legally, their union is not recognized and has no rights. The doctrine of matrimonial authority, which gave the husband exclusive control of the succession in a community of property marriage and the power to administer the wife`s property in a marriage outside the community of property, was abolished in 1984 for all future marriages and in 1993 for all marriages.

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