Antenuptial Contracts

Getting married is an exciting time and a lot of planning needs to be done. You must not just plan the wedding day, but also for those fabulous days after the wedding. Knowledge is power and that is why I will explain the 3 different options of getting married so that you can make an informed decision. Should you decide to get married out of community of property both parties must sign an ante nuptial contract in the presence of a notary prior to the day you get married. So please do first sign your ANC before you say “I DO”!

Call me if you want professional advice and personal service in a time efficient manner. The fee for an antenuptial contract includes the following:

We will have a consultation and I will explain everything to you, then the contract will be drafted and both bride and groom will sign it simultaneously in my presence, as required by legislation. You will receive a copy of the signed contract and a certificate for the marriage officer. You will enjoy your wedding day and I will ensure that the ante nuptial contract is registered at the deeds office. After registration you will receive the original for safe keeping.

Getting married is fabulous and complicated

So lets uncomplicate the legal issues for you. You have three options:

  1. In community of property
  2. Out of community of property
  3. Out of community of property with the accrual

You cannot make a mistake in choosing the best option for you, so please make sure you are aware of the consequences of your option.

In community of property

It is not just a case of: what is his is yours and what is yours is his. In short: You will be the half owner of all the assets and of all the debt until you divorce or die. That is why there are some restrictions, for instance both spouses must sign an offer to purchase immovable property or register a bond since it will have an effect both parties financially. The effect of marriage in community of property also has a material impact on death of a spouse since all the bank accounts of the entire estate will be frozen until the estate is finalized.

Marriage out of community of property

Here each party is the sole owner of his/her own estate without any need to obtain consent from the other party to purchase immovable property or register a bond. Financially they are effectively separate legal entities and do not share ownership in each other’s assets or debt. There is however a legal obligation to financially support the other party and at divorce or death a claim for maintenance will be entertained.

Marriage out of community of property with the accrual

This option is fairly new (since 1983) and not that well known. Here each party retains their own legal identity, but the wealth accumulated from date of marriage to date of death/divorce is shared in equal proportions. Some assets can be excluded from the accrual. That is why you have to stipulate the value of each spouse at date of marriage in order to calculate the increased wealth at date of death/divorce.

Example
Husband Wife
Value at date of marriage R5,500 R1,300
Value at date of dealth/divorce R9,900 R6,000
Accrual R3,500 R4,700

The Wife will have to pay half of the R4700 to the husband and the husband will have to pay half the R3500 to the wife.

Antenuptial Contract
An antenuptial contract is a written contract between two people who are about to marry, setting out the terms of possession of assets, treatment of future earnings, control of the property of each, and potential division if the marriage is later dissolved. These are fairly common if either or both parties have substantial assets, children from a previous marriage, potential large inheritances, high incomes, or have been “taken” by a prior spouse.