A family lawyer serves a vast area of the law. Common law marriages, for instance, is a common subject in family law. It should be noted that there is no such thing as common law marriages under South African law. Living together does not create automatic legal rights and duties between the partners. However, there is such a thing as a cohabitation agreement. In the event in which partners do not wish to marry, but instead choose to live together, they can sign a domestic partnership agreement to protect themselves should the relationship end. A definition used to describe domestic partners are as follows:
“Two adults who share an emotional, physical and financial relationship like that of a married couple but who either choose not to marry or cannot legally marry. They share a mutual obligation of support for the necessities of life.”
Couples living together do not have the same rights as that of married couples. A domestic partnership agreement, as described in family law, will determine what the division would be should the partnership break up.