What happens when the marriage is not registered? According to a decision made by the Federal Court, customary marriages after March 1, 1982 are not recognized under the law if they are not registered. Under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976, non-Muslim customary marriages solemnized after March 1, 1982 must be registered with the Registry of Marriages. The overall intention of this Act is to provide for monogamous marriages and the solemnization and registration of such marriages.
What this means is that if a man and a woman were to marry after March 1, 1982, their marriage must be registered with the Registry of Marriages for it to be recognized. If the marriage is not registered, any children born out of this union will be considered as illegitimate. As a result, the problems which will be faced by them as well as the wife would be countless as well as heart breaking.
If the man were to pass away and he did not write a will, his properties would be distributed according to the Distribution Act 1958 (as amended in 1997). Under this Act, the children that are considered as illegitimate will not be eligible to inherit his estate. The poor lady of the house, who will not be recognized as the legal wife, will also not be able to inherit her husband’s estate.
Who will inherit the man’s assets then? Without a will, the man’s assets will then go to his parents and if the parents are not around anymore, his hard earned assets will go to his brothers and sisters and ultimately to other people instead of his loved ones.
Love is blind but are we going to go through life blindly and ultimately letting our loved ones suffer just because we did not take positive action to protect them? So if we come across any of our friends or relatives who got married after March 1, 1982 and did not register their marriages, we should advise them to register their marriages to make sure that their loved ones are recognized under the law. To make doubly sure that their hard earned assets only go to their loved ones and not to other people, they should write a will with a Professional Will Writer.
Do not take chances. Take the proper and immediate action to protect your loved ones.