Unregistered Customary marriages sometimes can be a mess.
Here are the problems one can encounter if they did not register their customary marriage.
1. The first problem that you may encounter is that after negotiations, payment of lobola and living together as husband and wife with your partner, he refuses to register the marriage when you ask him to do so.
You can avoid this from happening by booking a date with Home Affairs way before the lobola negotiations so that immediately after the negotiations you register the marriage. He will usually agree because he is still drunk in love and not thinking straight. The problem is that the more you delay in registering the marriage, his senses will come back after staying together as husband and wife and he will regret getting married to you, especially if you are from Hammanskraal.
2. The second problem may be where you have agreed on doing the lobola part first and to enter into a marriage (Antenuptial/Prenup) contract afterwards with a hope that you will enter into a Civil marriage out of community of property after lobola and then your partner refuses to sign the contract.
This will result in you being married in terms of customary law in community of property which was not your intention.
You can avoid this by entering into an Antenuptial/Prenup contract before lobola negotiations.
3. The third problem may be when your loved one leaves you for another woman and sign a civil marriage with that other woman. In law the civil marriage will be invalid but the problem is that that invalidating it requires a High Court order which costs money that you may not have.
You can avoid this by registering your marriage as I have explained above.
4. The fourth problem may be when your parner tells you to pack and go because apparently it's their house.
You can approach court for a protection order if moving out is not an option; and also lay a claim for maintenance for yourself and your children.
5. The fifth problem which is usually the case when the man can't cope living with you is that he usually put up the house for sale.
If parties are married in community of property and their marriage is registered, transfer of the house becomes impossible without your signatures on the documents, even if the house is registered in his names alone as is the case if it was transferred to him before he got married to you, whether by sale or inheritance.
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