Common Law Marriage is a known substitute to a traditional wedding/marriage. If you live together and wish to be husband and wife you are able to become common law partners without having a wedding or a license. If you plan on getting married and just act like you are married, you will be eligible for marriage by Common Law. South Africa does allow this, but it is not something that is done very often. To make it legal and binding you should do the whole proper traditional wedding, where you and your spouse will have written rights to look into should you need to.
The advantage when it comes to Common Law Marriage is that should you require a “divorce” it is a simple procedure. There are no court proceedings and you and your ex husband or wife should be able to come to some sort of legal agreement without taking anything to court, otherwise it could get nasty. Divorce isn’t something all couples go through, but it is a possibility, so think ahead. You and your spouse do not know what will happen in the future, but of course you will do what you can to keep your “marriage” together. South Africa promotes traditional marriages and that everything be done legally, this is so that you have rights available to you when you need them and are not left in the dark.
Even though you are not legally married, it doesn’t mean that you can behave in an unacceptable manner, you are “married” under Common Law, which counts for something. As long as you and your partner love each other, you don’t have to have a legal marriage; it is not easy to plan and it can be expensive. In different countries around the world there are various requirements that the couple have to meet before they can become eligible for Common Law Marriage.