Marriage & Matrimonial Property
Marrying a foreigner in South Africa is relatively straight forward if you have a local marriage officer on your side. However, if you are a South African marrying a foreigner outside of the country, you will need to pay special attention to the advice in this article.
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Planning and concluding a marriage is one of the most exciting events in many people’s lives. This article briefly discusses the various essential and ancillary issues surrounding the conclusion of marriage, in order for it to be valid and effective.
Due to various political and socio-economic reasons in the past two decades, emigration to South Africa from countries in the region and the continent has surged immensely. This has naturally led to immigration laws, regulations and policies by the government of South Africa to be on a continuous path of development and modification to suit the altering patterns in immigration.
South Africa has for a while became a preferred destination for work, tourism, retirement, religious, business and other various activities. Consequently, marriages between foreign nationals and South Africans have become commonplace as social barriers become less and less matters of concern.
Where one of the spouses in a marriage becomes sequestrated, the system that governs their matrimonial property is important in the determination of consequences on the estate of the other spouse.
Marriage out of Community of Property excluding community of profit and loss and accrual system is essentially the form of complete separation of estates, which are assets and liabilities.
The Women’s Legal Centre had in 2009, brought a petition to the Constitutional Court for direct access in terms of Section 167 of the Constitution, seeking relief from the Court to direct the state to recognize marriages concluded under Muslim law.
The default matrimonial property system under South African law is the community of property. Parties to a marriage are expected to clearly indicate should they wish to have a different matrimonial property system applicable in their marriage.
Besides certainty antenuptial contracts bring legal effect to matrimonial property regimes and this is crucial with regards to entering contracts, as well as in the event of divorce, maintenance and devolution of deceased estates.
The legal status of a marriage is determined by the legal regime of the country where it was solemnised or concluded.
There are reasons for this, chief among them being that a marriage is in essence an agreement between at least two consenting parties, where reciprocal obligations arise.
Jurisdiction in respect of contractual disputes is mainly (not exclusively however) founded where the contract was concluded.
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