'The word of one spouse against the other': What you need to know about divorce in customary marriages

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"The customary marriage must also be dissolved at court in terms of a court order".
(PeopleImages/Getty Images)
"The customary marriage must also be dissolved at court in terms of a court order". (PeopleImages/Getty Images)

It's been 20 years since the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act (RCM) came into effect, and according to Gugu Gumede, an attorney and founder of SA's first free legal advice app Molao365, the legislation is due for an update.

Gumede launched Molao365 in June 2020 and tells Parent24 one of the top concerns of those seeking legal advice involve customary marriage disputes, particularly around proving the validity of a marriage during divorce proceedings.

Referencing the RCM, Gumede explains that for a customary marriage to be considered legally valid, prospective spouses must be older than 18 and have expressed "consent to be married to each other in terms of their customs; and their marriage negotiated and entered into or celebrated in accordance with their customs".

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