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Question
Posted by: Cindy | 2010/11/24

CUSTOMARY CHRISTIAN WEDDING WITH NO LEGAL MARRIAGE

I married my husband in a Christian wedding ceremony in 1996, but we did not register the marriage and do not have a legal marriage certificate. I remain in my ID as a single woman, with my unmarried name.
We have lived together since then and have no children, but own joint property and assetts.

Is this a legal marriage and what are my rights regarding our joint assetts. I want to go overseas for a while and wonder that if things should change in our relationship what would a divorce process and distribution of assets consist of?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFamily law expert

The South African Marriage Act lays down all the rules regulating how a marriage should be solemnized, who may marry one another, where and how the wedding may be conducted, and by whom. If you fail to comply with the regulations set out in this Act, your marriage could be declared null and void.

The marriage officer must require you to supply the following documents:
1. Clear copies of your Identity Documents
2. Clear copies of Divorce Decrees (if applicable)
3. Clear copies of Death Certificates (if applicable)

The marriage officer will present you with your original Abridged marriage certificate immediately after the ceremony and the marriage officer will register your marriage with the Department of Home Affairs.

If the above was not done, then there is in effect no marriage. In order to divide the shares in the joint property you will have to either negotiate transfer of your share, alternatively issue summons to ask for a termination of the joint ownership.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
www.divorceattorney.co.za
info@divorceattorney.co.za

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: family law expert | 2010/11/28

The South African Marriage Act lays down all the rules regulating how a marriage should be solemnized, who may marry one another, where and how the wedding may be conducted, and by whom. If you fail to comply with the regulations set out in this Act, your marriage could be declared null and void.

The marriage officer must require you to supply the following documents:
1. Clear copies of your Identity Documents
2. Clear copies of Divorce Decrees (if applicable)
3. Clear copies of Death Certificates (if applicable)

The marriage officer will present you with your original Abridged marriage certificate immediately after the ceremony and the marriage officer will register your marriage with the Department of Home Affairs.

If the above was not done, then there is in effect no marriage. In order to divide the shares in the joint property you will have to either negotiate transfer of your share, alternatively issue summons to ask for a termination of the joint ownership.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
Abrahams and Gross Inc.
www.divorceattorney.co.za
info@divorceattorney.co.za

Reply to family law expert
Posted by: Christine | 2010/11/24

Thanks for this question........I have a friend in a similar situation.
After his first divorce he married a divorced woman on their wedding certificate her first name, her maiden surname and the surname of her first marriage is stated. My friend would like to know if this is right because his surname hasn''t replaced her divorced surname, what if he wants to divorce her ? She is still going under her first married surname ! Could someone on this forum please shed some light on this question thanks !

Reply to Christine

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