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Filter: Marriage
Legal change: South Africa recognises Muslim marriages

29 May 2024,  Zelnè du Toit

The non-recognition of Muslim marriages, which have not been registered as civil marriages, was deemed unconstitutional. 

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Article
Spousal Consent: unveiling the challenges in community of property marriages

29 May 2023

When spouses are married in community of property, our law dictates that a spouse requires the consent of the other... spouse when entering into a transaction that affects the joint estate. But what happens when one spouse refuses to provide consent?

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1980
Article
We do not wish to marry; how do we regulate our relationship?

09 March 2023,  Ilze Strydom

With the increase in the number of divorces and decline in marriages in South Africa, what legal protection is available... to ex-spouses, separated partners or domestic life partners?

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1257
Article
Wedding cancelled due to Covid-19: can I get my money back?

19 January 2021,  Jaco Van den Berg

Since Covid-19 struck, it is no longer unusual to hear of engaged couples whose wedding date had been fixed, whose... invites had gone out long before and who had paid for everything already including the total venue costs - only for unexpected Covid-19 regulations to suddenly be implemented squashing all their romantic plans in one, fell swoop. The big question is, now that the wedding had to be cancelled, can the couple get their money back?Yet again with the recent amended Covid-19 regulations declared at the end of December 2020, many weddings had to be postponed or cancelled on short notice. It is important to know your rights if you already paid the wedding service providers and the wedding is now cancelled due to the change in regulations.The Regulations issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act, defines a gathering as follows:‘gathering’ means any assembly, concourse or procession in or on—(a) any public road, as defined in the National Road Traffic Act, or(b) any other building, place or premises, including wholly or partly in the open air, and including, but not limited to, any premises or place used for any sporting, entertainment, funeral, recreational, religious, or cultural purposes; but excludes a workplace and a place of residence for those persons ordinarily residing at the residence.The amended level 3 lockdown regulations that are now in force, prohibits most gatherings or social gatherings, including weddings. Many contracts with service providers, like the wedding venue, will contain a force majeure clause. Force majeure refers to an event or occurrence, which renders contractual performance impossible. The term is synonymous with the term vis maior.Force majeure clauses allow a party to a contract to escape the normal consequences of non-performance or late performance of their obligations in terms of the contract, because of an unforeseeable or unavoidable event. This can include acts of God, acts of government, natural disasters, epidemics, pandemics, terrorism or even war. The clause will allow a party to suspend its obligation in terms of the agreement for the duration of the force majeure event.If, however, there is no force majeure clause in the contract with a wedding service provider, and the service provider refuses to refund the money paid when a wedding is cancelled due to the new regulations, the other party has a possible claim against the service provider based on the legal remedy known as unjustified enrichment. The term "unjustified enrichment" is used to describe the situation which occurs when one party is enriched and the other party correspondingly impoverished, while the enrichment is at the expense of the impoverished party and unjustified, that is, without there being a legal ground for the retention of the enrichment by the enriched party. From the fact of such unjustified enrichment an obligation arises by operation of law in terms of which the enriched party has, in specified circumstances, a duty to restore the enrichment to the impoverished party up to the level of the latter's impoverishment.This means if you paid a wedding service provider and the wedding could not proceed due to the force majeure event (in this case, Covid-19), the wedding service provider might have been enriched at your expense, and you might well have a claim based on unjustified enrichment against them.Most probably the claim will be against the venue provider, band or other service providers who has not performed their obligation prior to the cancelation of the wedding. Unfortunately, if the service provider already performed, such as delivering the wedding cake, no enrichment claim will be possible.Each matter will have to be judged on the relevant facts and it is best to contact an attorney to advise you on a possible claim.

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Blog
How valid is a marriage contract if not confirmed by court?

10 July 2020

I have been married to my husband for more than 20 years. We were both in our early twenties when... we were married according to customary rites as well as civilly out of community of property. Since then my husband has built up a few successful businesses and a few years ago we created our own post-nuptial agreement to confirm that we see ourselves as married in community of property. Unfortunately, we have fallen on troubled times and wish to get divorced. My husband says we are still married out of community of property as the agreement we signed late is invalid. Is this true?

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Article
Why an antenuptial agreement may be important when getting married in terms of customary law

12 February 2019,  Corlia van Zyl

I am getting married this year in terms of customary law. My fiancé and I are both professional persons and... want to be married out of community of property so we can each manage our own estates. How can we go about doing this?

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Article
To what extent are Muslim marriages legally recognised in South Africa?

04 October 2018,  Minette Bowen

I am to be married according to my Islamic religion. Although I understand the practices of my faith, I’m not... sure how my marriage is viewed from a legal perspective in South Africa and what protection I have. Can you explain how the law will view my marriage as compared to a normal civil marriage?

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824
Article
When does a parent’s duty to financially support a child end?

07 June 2018

I’m divorced and have been paying maintenance for my ex and my two children for a number of years. My... eldest son has now finished school and wants to go to university. My ex is now insisting that I must contribute to his university studies as part of my maintenance obligations. Surely now that he is an adult, my responsibility to maintain has stopped?

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Article
What is your duty to enquire whether a couple is married in community of property?

07 June 2018,  Ilze Strydom

My mother and father were married in community of property. They often joked by saying that they could get out... of any contract as long as only one of them signed because the law required that both of them must always sign. As a business owner, through the years I’ve always wondered whether this is correct and how careful a business needs to be when dealing with couples married in community of property?

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Article
When are you legally married?

13 October 2015,  Ilze Strydom

My husband and I got married 11 years ago. I now want to get divorced, but according to the Department... of Home Affairs we have never been married as they cannot find any marriage certificate. How is that possible? Did the minister not register it? What now? 

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725
Article
Can you change your matrimonial property system?

08 September 2015

My husband and I were married in community of property many years ago. We now however feel that it would... be better for the management of our family and separate business interests if we were rather married out of community of property. Can we change our marriage system to out of community of property?

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724
Article
The abuse of trusts in case of divorce: know your rights!

15 June 2015,  Danie le Roux

Trusts are more and more being actively used for estate planning purposes, but the percentage of divorces are also increasing... annually. Protect yourself by being wary of the abuse of discretionary trusts in divorces and by analysing your position and acting as quickly as possible - before it is too late....

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