Published Date: April 19, 2021

CAPE TOWN – Women married under customary law will soon have equal rights to marital assets should they divorce.

Their children will also have increased rights to inheritance. These are two major amendments made to the Customary Marriages Act passed by Parliament last month.

Up until now, women married under customary law before 1998, had no rights to assets if they divorced. However, the Constitutional Court has found in at least two cases, the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act limited the right to human dignity, and discriminated unfairly against women.

The new law will treat all customary marriages as being in-community of property, unless an ante-nuptial contract has been entered into.

The amendment does not only address this lacuna in the law, but will also have a major impact on children of such marriages.

Family law experts say it’s imperative the President signs the new bill into law as soon as possible.

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This article was first published on eNCA