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What Are the Three Impediments of Marriage in Ethiopian Law?

Question from Bery, What Are the Three Impediments of Marriage in Ethiopian Law?

Answer from AI:

In Ethiopian family law, marriage is a legally recognized union between individuals that establishes rights and obligations between them. However, there are certain conditions, known as impediments, which can prevent a marriage from being legally valid. These impediments are outlined in the Ethiopian Revised Family Code, which was promulgated in 2000. Understanding these impediments is crucial for anyone considering marriage in Ethiopia.

Types of Impediments to Marriage in Ethiopian Law

The Revised Family Code of Ethiopia specifies three main types of impediments to marriage:

  1. Permanent Impediments
  2. Temporary Impediments
  3. Relative Impediments

Permanent Impediments

Permanent impediments are those that indefinitely prevent a marriage from being legally recognized. These include:

  • Consanguinity: Marriage between close blood relatives, such as siblings or between parents and children, is prohibited.
  • Affinity: Marriage is not allowed between individuals who are related by marriage in a direct line, such as a person with their parent-in-law.
  • Adoption: Adoptive parents and their adopted children cannot marry each other.

Temporary Impediments

Temporary impediments are conditions that prevent marriage for a limited period. These include:

  • Existing Marriage: A person who is already married cannot enter into another marriage until the previous one is dissolved.
  • Waiting Period: There is a waiting period for women after the dissolution of a marriage before they can remarry, to establish paternity of any child that might be born following the dissolution.

Relative Impediments

Relative impediments apply to specific circumstances and may be waived with the consent of the parties involved. These include:

  • Age: If one of the parties is underage, parental consent may be required.
  • Health: If one of the parties has a serious contagious disease, the marriage may be postponed until the condition is cured or controlled.

Effects of Impediments on Marriage

If a marriage is entered into despite the presence of an impediment, the legal effects can vary:

  • A marriage with a permanent impediment is considered null and void from the outset.
  • A marriage with a temporary impediment may be suspended or annulled if the impediment is not resolved within a reasonable time.
  • A marriage with a relative impediment may be subject to annulment, but the parties involved may have the option to waive the impediment under certain conditions.

It is important to note that the consequences of entering into a marriage with an impediment can include legal penalties, invalidation of the marriage, and potential issues with inheritance and property rights.

Seeking Legal Advice

If you are considering marriage in Ethiopia and believe there may be an impediment to your marriage, it is essential to seek legal advice from a qualified professional. A lawyer can provide personalized guidance based on the specifics of your situation and help ensure that your marriage complies with Ethiopian law.

For more information on the Revised Family Code of Ethiopia, you can refer to the official document. Always consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your individual circumstances.

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