Expected Changes in Marriage Laws in South Africa | Legal Articles

 

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Expected Changes in Marriage Laws in South Africa

The introduction of changes to marriage laws in South Africa can be expected as The Department of Home Affairs is developing new policies.

Expected Changes in Marriage Laws in South Africa

Regardless of all the changes to marriage laws in South Africa that have been made since 1994, there are still some areas that need attention.

More specifically, the areas that need to be improved relate to the constitutional values of the country such as human dignity, equality and non-discrimination. It also lacks a broader understanding of modern social dynamics.

marriage laws in south africa

Customary Marriage in South Africa

For example, the existing legislation as it stands does not regulate some religious marriages that are practiced in some African families such as the Muslim, Hindu or other customary marriages.

However, when taking the vast diversity of cultures and heritage in South Africa, it's almost impossible to make changes to marriage laws in South Africa that can govern every cultural or religious marriage practice.

It's for this reason that the DHA endeavors to develop foundational policy which allows for future, single legislation specific to each type of marriage practiced in South Africa.

Proposed Changes to Marriage Laws in South Africa

The following are a few of the most important changes that may be introduced:

  • Introducing strict rules regarding the legal age of marriage
  • Changes to the act will allow South Africans of different sexual orientation, cultural persuasion and religious persuasion to conclude legal marriages
  • In the event of marriage dissolution or divorce, the new legislation will align the marriage, matrimonial property and divorce legislation to specifically address intestate succession and matrimonial property
  • It will deal with the solemnisation and registration of marriages involving foreign nationals
  • It will allow for fair treatment and respect for religious and customary beliefs aligned with Section 15 of the Constitution
  • It will deal with the solemnisation and registration of customany marriages involving non-citizens with special focus on cross-border citizens from neighbouring countries

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) presenting its annual performance plan to parliament and announced that the new policies will be gazetted for the public to view during the current financial year and hopes to have it approved by cabinet early next year.

Van Deventer & Van Deventer Incorporated - Attorneys in Johannesburg & Cape Town

Our attorneys are able to provide you with expert legal advice on matters related to marriages, matrimonial property and marriage law in South Africa. Contact us for more information.

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