Land tenure and mapping marital rights and obligations

 
Session

Land reform and land tenure

Full Paper Review

No

Authors

Leslie Anne Downie, Stellenbosch University, South Africa,

Abstract

Land rights change on date of marriage. This has far-reaching consequences for the land tenure debate, the extent of which is generally overlooked. The recording of personal co-habiting status and the recording of diagrams cover similar conceptual areas, indicating that current legal debates surrounding marital status could benefit from a pooling of ideas from the field of geomatics.

In order to facilitate this, an overview will be given of the South African law on: the manner in which rights vest on date of marriage; the difference between a marriage in community of property and out of community of property; the effect of ante-nuptial agreements and lobola agreements; the effect on land rights if a couple converts their marital system to a different one after their marriage; the consequences of death, divorce and insolvency on the loss of land; the role of the conveyancer in identifying and entrenching rights vesting by marriage; the cost of pre-nuptial agreements and the process for registering them; access to justice for the poor who need pre-nuptial contracts to protect their rights, the impact on vulnerable men, women and children when pre-nuptial contracts are not available to the poor, and the potential for cell-phone technology to be used to record marital status.

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