Disadvantages of entering into customary marriage with your wife or husband is more than the advantages. When couples engage in a customary marriage only, the traditional marriage though essential doesn’t offer any or adequate security to the wife and her (unborn) children especially in the case of the death of her husband without a will or divorce.
Below are three disadvantages:
Point 1 :Disadvantageous to your wife
Traditionally the man’s possessions automatically goes to his wife in the event of his death. But in the case of a divorce nothing is offered to the woman and her children.
When the man dies his extended family comes in to claim everything belonging to the deceased leaving his surviving wife and children with nothing. Its only in rare cases where the wife is educated and financially stable to stand against such oppression.
On the other hand Statutory marriage supports one man one wife. He can’t marry another until he is legally divorced from the first one. He can’t have a statutory marriage because he will be refused a marriage certificate. If he decides to marry second wife under the customary law, the new wife have no right under the act. Moreover, a man who marries another woman without divorcing the first one will be charged of bigamy.
The man has responsibility to his legally married wife and legitimate children whether or not he remains married to the woman. A statutory marriage provides security for the wife and her unborn children.
Point 2: Disadvantageous to your children
Under most customary law the first son is always in charge of the estate of the deceased. The bad news is that where the first son becomes selfish it will ultimately bring discord between his siblings. But if you marry your wife under the Act then all this could be avoided because the estate will be fairly distributed among your children and widow according to administration of estate law.
Point 3: Disadvantageous to your wish
Sharing of your estate under the customary law might not be in line with your wish if you wrote a valid will before you die. Or your estate would have been shared fairly by administration of estate law had it been you married your wife under the Act.
After knowing this facts it is left for you to choose for yourself the part you want to go.