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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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I 't have any divorce papers. I got married in February 2005

Customer Question

Hi I don't have any divorce papers. I got married in February 2005 and we separated with my ex husband in March same year when I returned to uk. We had an argument he told me that doesn't want to see me again. We never saw each other until 2010 when our son passed away. He told me that he divorced me. So I was happy and I did not bother with any thing again. I moved on and I got married in 2011. I just want to know if is there a problem on that because anyway the marrige did not last. We did not communicate with each other from end of March 2010 until we meet in my sons funeral in 2010
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Am I in trouble now ? Why can't I get the answer?you said in 10 minutes or less
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Honestly it's more than half an hour now waiting, please
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Good Morning

Sometimes (especially on weekends) it takes a little longer for an answer to come. We do not work full time for Just Answer.

Did you divorce from your second husband now?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No m still married to my second husband.
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

In terms of UK law?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we live together since 2011
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Okay but did you conclude your second marriage in terms of UK law? Was the marriage concluded in the UK and is your husband British?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my marriage was concluded in Britain but my husband is kenyean
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We got married here in Britain but me I'm from South Africa and him is from Kenya
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Final question: What is the advice you need from me? Are you asking me whether your second marriage is valid if you have not been properly divorced from your first husband?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I want to know if second marriage is valid,and to know if there is no proof if divorce certificate I will not be in trouble for that.
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Let's start with the "divorce certificate".

In order to be validly divorced in South Africa, one of you need to issue a summons for divorce against the other. That was probably your husband who did that. Then the Plaintiff (your husband) needs to appear in court and then the court will issue a divorce order. Once the divorce order is issued, then you are divorced. You do not have to have this order on your physical person at all and the validity of the divorce is not dependent on the order being registered at Home Affairs or whatever.

Now on to the second part of your question: In South Africa, you cannot conclude a valid second marriage if your first marriage has not been terminated correctly in terms of the Divorce Act. Since you got married in England with a Kenyan, South African law would not apply to your second marriage. You would have to find out from a UK lawyer whether your second marriage would be valid if your first marriage possibly still exist.

You can check your marital status (with reference to your first marriage) on the website of the Department of Home Affairs, alternatively, you can contact them through e-mail or telephone to check on your marital status in South Africa.

I hope this helps you a little bit, but if you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Actually I want to apply for visa for my husband to visit with him in South Africa,that's why I'm not sure if I do that I will be in trouble first if there are no documents confirming that I divorced my ex husband. That's what I want to know because someone told me that if I do not have divorce papers I will be arrested if being a bigamist. Please help me ,I want to clarify this because me I did not know.
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

You can only be found guilty of bigamy if you entered into the second marriage with the knowledge that you previous marriage still exist. In your case, you believed your ex husband when he said that you are divorced. So, the threat of that is pretty small.

But I suggest you check your marital status with home affairs before you panic about something that may not even be an issue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. But what if I contact home affairs and found out that my ex husband was lying and m already married to my husband now? I'm scared that's why I seek your advise first that is it can be possible that I can be arrested for something I was not sure of?
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 1 year ago.

Like I said, the State would have to prove that you intended to commit bigamy. You cannot be an accidental bigamist, like you would be if your first husband lied to you. In my honest opinion, the chance of you being prosecuted for bigamy is very, very small.