When persons of different nationalities marry, or South African citizens get married abroad, it triggers our law’s rules relating to domicilium, in terms of which it is determined which country’s laws apply to the marriage. The importance of this is evident in conveyancing transactions where estate agents, banks and conveyancers are each obliged to ensure that a spouse’s consent is obtained, if this is legally required.
Generally, the laws of the country where the husband was domiciled at the date of the marriage are the laws that will apply to the marriage, regardless of the country where the couple got married. For example, if the marriage ceremony was concluded in Mauritus and the husband was domiciled in South Africa and regarded it as his permanent place of residence at the date of the marriage, then South African laws will apply, meaning that if no antenuptial contract was entered into prior to the marriage, the marriage is one in community of property.
For more information or assistance, contact your conveyancer at STBB.