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It may sometimes be difficult to comprehend what the relevance of marriage still is in this day and age. There are alternatives like life partnerships and committed relationships which essentially serve the same purpose on face value. They are less cumbersome to enter into and have almost no implications or procedures, should the relationship come to an end.

Why would anyone still want to enter into the bounds of marriage? The answer is, because a marriage relationship is protected by law where any other relationship does not have such specific protection. The same limitations and procedures that deem marriage to be more cumbersome than the alternative, also offer protection to either party in a marriage against each other and from parties outside the relationship.

There are 3 types of marriage regimes in South Africa:

  1. In Community of Property: Common law dictates that in the absence of an antenuptial contract, parties will by default be married in terms of this regime. This means that after marriage, the individual estates of each spouse will fall into a joint estate. The joint estate will then posses all assets and all debts of both parties, thereby making each party jointly liable and the owner of the assets and debts of the joint estate.

  2. Out of Community of Property: This regime involves the parties entering into an antenuptial agreement. This agreement stipulates that the separate estates of each party remain their own to deal with as they wish. This does not exclude them from jointly buying a house, entering into a bond together or having a joint bank account or the like. It would just mean that it doesn’t happen automatically as it would without an antenuptial contract. Debts can only be claimed against the debtor spouse without any recourse against the “innocent” spouse. A caveat to be aware of in this regime would be that accrual sharing is not an obligation either. The antenuptial contract is registered with the Deeds office.

  3. Out of Community of property (with accrual sharing): This regime follows the same as the normal out of Community of property regime, except that parties indicate in their contract what each of their asset and liabilities are in their individual estates at start of the marriage. For the duration of the marriage, the same protections apply as those in the normal antenuptial regime. Should the marriage come to an end, the actual financial growth of each individual party  since the start of the marriage gets determined and set-off against each other. The difference between the two amounts(accrual) will then be divided by two and allocated to each party’s separate estate. This contract will also need to be registered at the Deeds office.


It is important to note that the antenuptial contract would need to be signed prior to the marriage taking place.


Our team of experts will be able to get any kind of antenuptial contract attended to and registered quickly and efficiently at a set all-inclusive fee.

Ask for Chanel Pereira who drafts our antenuptial contracts and works with our dedicated notary public in order to get it properly registered