Congratulations for taking the bold and rewarding step of getting married. Now let our attorneys help you choose the right type of marriage contract that is suitable for you and your partner as you focus on your wedding day!

You and your partner have three options of managing your matrimonial properties after your marriage:

  1. In community of property;
  2. Out of community of property without accrual; and
  3. Out of community of property with accrual.

In community of property

We call this the default option, as it occurs when you are married without concluding any marriage or ante nuptial contact. The married couple will have one joint estate made up of equal shares (50%) each. The joint estate will be made up of assets and liabilities before and after your wedding date. This option however does come with contractual limitations – as you will need consent from each other to e.g acquire a mortgage bond, secure credit/loan, sue a third party for whatever case might be or enter into any legal dispute.

Consequence at the dissolution (by death or divorce) – you will each have 50% claim against the joint estate.

Out of community of property without accrual (First option with an ANC)

Should you and your partner opt for this option, you will have two separate / individual estates. The estates are made up of your individual assets and liabilities as acquired before and after your marriage. You each have full legal contractual capacity to deal and do as you please in as far as your assets and liabilities are concerned – no consent required. You will not be liable for each others liabilities/debts, in other words each party carries their own debts. If a sequestration order is to be made against a party’s estate – it is that party’s estate that is affected and not the other’s. You can sue and litigate against third parties in the absence of the other spouse’s consent. At the dissolution of the marriage (death or divorce) no one has a claim against the other estate.

Consequence: because of the lack of sharing, this option can disadvantage the spouse with less income at the dissolution of the marriage.

Out of community of property with accrual (Second Option with an ANC)

This option gives you the best of both worlds, in that it carries some aspects of: in community of property and out of community of property without accrual. You will still have two separate estates. But at the dissolution (by death or divorce) a determination will be made at how much your two separate estates have grown during the course of the marriage and the spouse with the lesser/smaller estate will have a claim against the spouse with a bigger estate for an amount that will equal half the difference.

Contact us and we will be more than happy to provide you with advise as well as contract that fits you and your partner’s goals as you step into your marriage.