oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The financial consequences of divorce: s 7(3) of the Divorce Act 1979 - a comparative study

Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The introduction of s 7(3) of the Divorce Act is to be warmly welcomed. By providing for a necessary corrective to the doctrine of freedom of contract, it has provided the opportunity to bring equity and justice to the financial consequences of a considerable number of, although not all, South African marriages. No longer will spouses, married before 1984 in strict separation of property, fear that they may be left, on dissolution of their marriage, with only a recourse to the courts to apply for bear maintenance. A spouse who sacrifices her (of his) career to undertake the task of homemaker need no longer fear that that sacrifice shall go unrewarded. Thus with legal recognition of human capital concepts a spouse can confidently choose to invest themselves in their home and family. They can be confident that as they both contribute to their marriage partnership, in their own way, both shall be able to obtain, upon its dissolution, a fair proportion of their respective investments.

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