A guide to Marriage laws in South Africa

If you are getting married in South Africa, you will be subject to the Republic’s marriage laws – the Marriage Act, 1961 (Act 25 of 1961). The marriage laws do not distinguish between South African citizens and foreigners – couples receive the same marriage license or marriage certificate.

The wedding couple must in all cases consult a registered marriage officer so that the wedding ceremony complies with the prescribed marriage laws at Home Affairs South Africa.

Under the South African Marriage Laws, a marriage is prohibited when:

  • Either one or both wedding parties are already married. Marriage law says an existing marriage can only be terminated through death or by a competent court of law.
  • The wedding couple are minors. Under South African marriage law, a minor may not enter into marriage unless the marriage officer is in possession of a written consent from either both parents or the guardian.
  • The wedding couple or a party has no capacity to enter in a marriage contract. This often refers to people suffering from mental disorders. A person who is insane, may, however, contract a valid marriage if it can be proven that the person is lucid and in full possession of his/her faculties when concluding the contract.

Click on the ♥ below to expand

The following are the noted general requirements for getting married in South Africa however it is recommended to consult a registered marriage officer to ensure compliance.

Checklist of Documents to be Submitted:

  • Two (2) valid identification; one must be a photo ID.
  • A notarized declaration by the party concerned to the effect that the person is not aware of any lawful impediment to the proposed marriage.
  • There is no residency requirement for foreign nationals.
  • There is no blood testing requirement.

Marriage Laws in South Africa allow for the three options for the marriage contract:

In community of property
No ante-nuptial contract is required. The two respective estates become one as at the date of the marriage. E.g. If one spouse owned a house prior to the date of marriage, the other automatically becomes co-owner and is entitled to 50% of the value thereof upon death or divorce.

Out of community Property
An ante-nuptial contract is required. Both spouses remain owners of their respective estates. Upon death or divorce each party retains what is theirs, unless a court of law orders otherwise. When in business, this is a good option.

Accrual System
An ante-nuptial contract is required. Both spouses remain owners of their respective estates. However, upon death or divorce, the estates acquired during the marriage, are divided equally.

For more information visit the Home Affairs South Africa website here.

Latest Editions

Wedding & Function App for Android, iOS & Blackberry devices – FREE Wedding & Function Border Region Wedding & Function Cape Town Wedding & Function Eastern Cape Wedding & Function Free State & Kimberly Wedding & Function Garden Route Wedding & Function Gauteng Wedding & Function KwaZulu Natal

MENU

CONTACT US

Newsletter Subscription Subscribe

Share

The all-important proposal has been made and accepted, the champagne corks have popped, the ring admired and a wedding date has been decided. Congratulations – the exciting journey of wedding planning has begun! As important as the selection of the dress, the booking of a venue, the choice of flowers and the reservation of honeymoon flight tickets may be, marriage is an event which requires some serious legal planning, and prudent couples will be sure to see their attorneys well in advance of the big day to discuss life-changing issues.

At Goldberg & de Villiers Inc., we pride ourselves on living our values of integrity, respect and excellence, and combine traditional ethics and values, with cutting edge technology and expertise. Our specialists will be able to offer you tailored solutions to your pre-wedding legal planning, and give you peace of mind, so the journey to the big day, and the wedding itself, may be memorable and enjoyable – and most importantly, your future secure.

1. The Antenuptial Contract
If you do not sign an ANC before your wedding day, you will automatically be married in community of property, and the costs of attempting to rectify this at a later date would be considerable. Ensure that you protect your respective estates.

2. Your Will
Do you have a valid Will, and if so, does it now take into account your upcoming marriage?

3. Estate Planning
Is your Estate plan sound and make financial and legal sense? Discuss this, as well as family Trusts and other entities in which you have an interest with one of our experts, to prevent any nasty surprises arising.

4. The “Offshore” Wedding
The world is getting smaller, and romantic weddings in foreign locations are not uncommon. Bear in mind, though, that in determining which country’ s law regulates the consequences of the marriage, various factors are taken into account – especially the parties’ intentions at the time, where they normally lived, etc. The decisive factor is the domicile (or permanent home) of the husband.

5. Special Situations And Issues
When it comes to marriage, there is no one-size-fits-all answer for all issues. Perhaps you are becoming a “blended family” with children from prior relationships; what becomes of your rights and obligations relating to the family home, registered in your spouse’ s name, but where you are helping to pay the bond. What about ownership of your furniture and household ef fects? Can you put property in your spouse’ s name? What happens to your debts should you die? Or…since we’re planning a wedding , what to do if the photographer makes a mess of the photos, recording your special day – what would be your recourse?

At Goldberg & de Villiers Inc., we pride ourselves on living our values of integrity, respect and excellence, and combine traditional ethics and values, with cutting edge technology and expertise. Our specialists will be able to offer you tailored solutions to your pre-wedding legal planning, and give you peace of mind, so the journey to the big day, and the wedding itself, may be memorable and enjoyable – and most importantly, your future secure.

Visit us on facebook, our website www.goldbergdevilliers.co.za or contact one of our specialists –
Nicholas Mitchell 041-501 9812 or nicholas@goldlaw.co.za  
Tracey Watson-Gill 041-501 9845 or twg@goldlaw.co.za  
Cindy Jonker 041-501 9806 or cindy@goldlaw.co.za