oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Civil or Christian marriage and customary unions: the legal position of the "discarded" spouse and children

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



In South Africa, blacks have the option of entering into either a marriage in accordance with the law of the landl or a customary union. A marriage has been defined as "the legally recognised voluntary union for life in common of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others while it lasts. A customary union, on the other hand, has been descriptionbed as "a union of 'the family of this ma.n' and 'the family of this woman' ... ".While some blacks may be aware of the differences between these two types of marital union, most have little idea of all the legal implications that a marriage entails.

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