May 24, 2024

politics of law

Politics and Law

What are the rights of children born in a polygamous marriage?

3 min read
If a husband wishes to marry a further wife under customary law, he must first get the agreement of his existing wife before he may enter into a further customary marriage.

If a husband needs to marry a even further spouse beneath customary law, he will have to first get the agreement of his present spouse before he may possibly enter into a more customary relationship.&#13

The next question is portion of Groundup’s Solutions to your issues collection and comes from a reader enquiring about the legal rights of his children who were born in a polygamous marriage. 

What are the legal rights of kids born in a polygamous marriage?

The brief response

If the to start with wife agreed to the second marriage, the second spouse and her children have the identical protection and rights.

The full issue

Pricey Athalie,

How does the law protect the little ones that I have with my next wife in a polygamous relationship?

The prolonged response

Thank you for your e-mail inquiring how the legal rights of little ones born to a next spouse in a polygamous relationship are shielded.

Ahead of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act (RCMA) was passed into regulation on 15 November 2000, ladies in customary marriages had the status of minors and could not own or inherit assets in their personal correct.

But just after the RCMA turned regulation, a customary spouse had equivalent rights and position, could get and sell residence, enter into contracts and go to court docket. She could make a decision alongside one another with the spouse what ought to transpire to their residence.

Customary legislation wives now experienced the very same security and legal rights as civil legislation wives.

All customary marriages are regarded as currently being in community of house other than if the couple precisely would make a different arrangement as a result of an ante-nuptial deal.

If a partner wishes to marry a further spouse under customary legislation, he will have to initial get the arrangement of his existing spouse just before he could enter into a additional customary relationship. If he does not do this, the second marriage will even now be recognised, but it will be a relationship out of group of house.

In other words, the 2nd wife will not possess the house of her spouse jointly with him if the very first wife has not specified her consent to the marriage. Section 7(6) of the RCMA states that, prior to he can marry a 2nd spouse, a husband ought to apply to the court docket to approve a agreement that sets out how the marriage property is to be divided among the spouses.

All the names and dates of delivery of the kids are also supplied to the court docket, and all the wives ought to agree that the way the house is to be divided among them is reasonable.

The court docket should acquire into account the interests of all the spouses and the children and defend all their property rights ahead of deciding if the contract is truthful.

If the court docket approves the contract, the house rights of the partner and the wives will then be in conditions of the deal only.  In terms of the RCMA, only the court can grant a decree of divorce, and the only grounds for divorce are that the marriage has damaged down to the extent that it are unable to be restored.

The court docket will make a decision who should really get custody of the children based mostly on the best pursuits of the young children. 

Wishing you the most effective,


Answered on Sept. 3, 2021, 2 p.m.

Browse the unique GroundUp post in this article.


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