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In South Africa the default position when marrying someone is to be married in community of property. This will therefore be your position if you do not enter into an Antenuptial Contract before you get married.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE MARRIED IN COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY?
When two spouses are married in community of property they share one estate. Their debts and assets before the marriage will form part of this estate, as well as the debts and assets acquired after the marriage was solemnised. Therefore, both will be equally held liable for the debt of the one spouse. Furthermore, for certain transactions one spouse will need the consent (in some circumstances, written consent) of the other spouse. When the marriage dissolves by death or divorce, the estate will be “equally” split between the spouses.
DO I HAVE ANY OTHER OPTIONS?
Yes! If you and your spouse enter into an Antenuptial Contract before your marriage is solemnised, you will not be subject to the default position.
There are 2 other options (both adjustable in some sense): 1. Out of community of property without the accrual; or 2. Out of community of property with the accrual.
These “options” will only be of force against third parties if you concluded an Antenuptial Contract before your marriage was solemnised. This contract may only be executed by a Notary Public (it is a certain type of Attorney), therefore you should seek the assistance of such notary.
At De Vries De Wet & Krouwkam we will have a consultation with the spouses to thoroughly discuss all their options – advantages and disadvantages and suitability. We will then draft the Antenuptial Contract according to the specifications of the clients. Thereafter, the spouses shall visit our offices again to sign the contract before one of our Notaries. We will then ensure that the contract is registered within the specified time frame. And voila – you have saved yourself from future headaches!
HOW AND WHEN MUST WE ENTER INTO AN ANTENUPTIAL CONTRACT?
The time frame will be as follows:
- First consultation: 2 months before your wedding
- Signing of the contract: 1 month before your wedding
- Registration of the contract: within 3 months from the date of signing
Please contact one of our notaries for their specialised service:
- Danny De Vries: email@example.com
- Johan Coetzee: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Beatie De Wet: email@example.com