Marriage is forbidden between close relatives by descent, marriage, or nursing: thus a man may not marry his mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepmother-in-law, or stepdaughter-in-law, nor may he marry anyone who suckled from the same woman as he did, or from whom he suckled.A man may not be married to two sisters simultaneously.
A husband is required to provide for his wife to the best of his abilities, and to treat his wives equally if he marries more than one.A wife is required to obey her husband and respect him as head of the family, to bring up and nurse his children, and to respect his parents and relatives.A wife has the right to visit her parents and to receive visits from them, and has rights over her own property.), enacted on June 9, 1984, specifies the laws relating to familial relations in Algeria.It includes strong elements of Islamic law which have brought it praise from Islamists and condemnation from secularists and feminists.
Its critics particularly focus on its implications for women (who have less right to divorce than men, and who receive smaller shares of inheritance) and sometimes for apostates (who are disinherited, and whose marriages may be nullified.) President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has declared that it must be revised in the spirit of universal human rights and Islamic law. Lachhab of the Islamist El Islah party declared that "We oppose these amendments which are contrary to Sharia, and thus to article 2 of the Constitution," whereas Nouria Hafsi of the pro-government RND declared "These timid amendments put forward a modern reading of the Sharia; the rights of women will finally be recognized by law. Marriage is defined as a legal contract between a man and a woman.The legal age of marriage is 21 for a man, 18 for a woman; judges may in special cases allow earlier marriage.A man may marry up to four wives; if so, he must treat them equally and inform them in advance, and they may demand a divorce.Marriage requires the consent of both parties and a gift by the groom of a dowry to the bride, as well as the presence of the bride's father or guardian (wali) and of two witnesses.The father of the bride may block the marriage, although her guardian may not.The marriage must be registered before a notary or legal functionary.