Marriage Contracts

Thinking of getting married? You have arranged the date, the venue, the catering, the marriage officer, the invitations and the photographer. But have you given any thought to the matrimonial property system you will get married under? The matrimonial property system refers to the legal rules that apply to you as a result of how you were married.

A person can be married in community or out of community of property, depending on whether the parties getting married entered into an agreement called an ante nuptial contract before they were married. If the parties entered into such an agreement they have chosen to be married out of community of property, and their separate estates (all their assets and liabilities) will continue as separate estates after the marriage. The proverbial “what is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours”. When entering this agreement the parties can also choose to make their matrimonial property system subject to the accrual system or not. This system automatically applies to a marriage out of community of property unless excluded in the agreement, and needs to be explained by a notary beforehand as it could have significant implications on the termination of the marriage.

If on the other hand the parties do not enter into this agreement prior to marriage, they are automatically married in community of property. In this case the separate estates of the parties prior to the marriage are replaced by a combined estate of their respective estates, called a joint estate. This is the proverbial “what is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine”.

A person married in community of property binds his or her spouse whenever debt is accrued and can’t enter into certain agreements without the permission of their spouse, for instance when purchasing a property. Any risks involved in business transactions where a person operates as a sole proprietor or in his or own name can therefore bind the spouse as well, when married in community of property.

Although some people opt for the latter due to religious reasons, not entering into this agreement because of the costs of the agreement is not necessary.

We also provide couples with a Life Partnership Agreement. This document is usually required by Home Affairs in respect of a party’s residence permit, or for other official purposes. It is drafted by and signed in front of a Notary. Contact us for for a quote.

We often come across situations where these implications of getting married without an ante nuptial contract were not foreseen nor understood before the time. At Meyer Nel we can offer the services of two qualified notaries, and with our card facilities paying for this vital legal document is safe and convenient. It can end up saving you much more money in future than what it cost, not to mention safeguarding your spouse and saving your relationship unnecessary strain.

Call us today.