First question: are there any democratic ("somewhat" democratic like Russia counts... Saudi Arabia or any other Islamic theocracy does not) countries where polygamy is not fully illegal the way it is in USA?

Second, real, question: if such countries exist, how do the handle polygamy policy wise?

What I mean is, are there standard laws on how inheritance works in absence of a will? What are the default rules in terms of medical treatment if multiple spouses have different opinion and patient is not capable to decide? What accounting principles govern taxes?

  • it may be better placed at law.se
    – user9389
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 23:05
  • Rather broad -- Perhaps you could do the research to find such a country (do you consider Indonesia to be democratic?) The standard laws in most countries that allow polygamy are sharia. So you can google the sharia laws on marriage.
    – James K
    Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 23:35
  • @JamesK - that's basically what I was driving at with "democratic" thing, just rather less artfully. I want laws that deal with polygamy without being explicitly Sharia-polygamy-rules based.
    – user4012
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 12:00
  • Does Iran count as “somewhat” democratic, or as a theocracy? BTW, there’s a smidgen of handling of plural marriage by the Australian government.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 12:44
  • @AndrewGrimm - Iran is (and its laws are Sharia based)
    – user4012
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


In South Africa polygamy via customary marriages is legal but for every spouse after the first an explicit agreement of how the property rights work needs to be made and approved by a court.

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