Marriage Contract

“I am a risk taker! I venture into businesses and it doesn’t always work out but that’s how I make a living. I don’t want my partner to have the bad end of the stick when it all hits the fan. It is highly possible that I may land into some financial trouble and they would be burdened with the responsibility of paying my debts. How can I get around that when I decide to get married?”

An Antenuptial Contract, ANC or otherwise Prenup is one of the most important documents you will sign in your lifetime. It is crucial for spouses to determine the matrimonial property system before entering into a marriage. The importance of an ANC tends to be understated and is often not given as much regard as the details when planning a wedding.

The ANC is an agreement which excludes the prospect of a joint estate in community of property in a marriage. Where the marriage is concluded prior to conclusion of a valid ANC, the marriage will automatically assume the in community of property system. The ANC may include a variety of terms and conditions relating to the division of assets in the event a dissolution of the marriage due to death or divorce. The ANC takes 2 forms:

1.      ANC with accrual: this system offers the parties the advantage of keeping their estates separate, whilst allowing for a form of redistribution when the marriage is no longer.

2.      ANC without accrual: this system entails that parties retain their own separate estates, it’s said to be a ‘what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours’ agreement.  

For the drafting of a valid ANC, you will need to consult with an attorney and this must be done before performing the official marriage ceremony. The Attorney will draft the contents of the ANC in accordance to your instructions and will further arrange for you and your spouse to attend at their offices to sign the ANC in their presence. In the case where Home Affairs requests a copy of a registered ANC, a letter is drafted to serve as proof to the marriage officer of consultation with an Attorney. In the meantime the original ANC is sent to the Deeds Registry to be registered.

So don’t leave it to the last minute, once you have made a decision on which form of ANC you prefer contact our highly experienced Attorney to assist you. You may contact us below.

Article contributed by Fortunate Sebulele of Tuckers Inc.