Marriage is a beautiful experience that brings two people together in love and commitment. In South Africa, like in any other country, marriage is a legal institution that requires certain formalities. One of such formalities is the signing of a marriage contract.
A marriage contract is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of a marriage. It is an agreement between two parties regarding the division of assets and liabilities in the event of divorce or death. In South Africa, there are three types of marriage contracts that couples can sign.
1. Antenuptial Contract (ANC):
This is the most popular type of marriage contract in South Africa. It is also known as a prenuptial agreement. The ANC is entered into before the wedding and it stipulates that each spouse`s assets, liabilities, and inheritance remain separate. In the event of divorce, each spouse will keep their individual assets and debts. This type of marriage contract is ideal for couples who want to protect their individual assets.
2. In Community of Property:
This type of marriage contract is the default position in South Africa. It means that when two people get married, they automatically become equal owners of all assets and liabilities. This includes anything owned before the marriage and everything acquired during the marriage. In the event of a divorce, all assets and liabilities are divided equally between the spouses. This type of marriage contract is ideal for couples who want to share everything equally.
3. Out of Community of Property:
This marriage contract is similar to the Antenuptial Contract, but it includes certain conditions that determine how assets and liabilities are divided. It is entered into before the wedding and it spells out what each spouse will get in the event of divorce or death. This type of contract is ideal for couples who want to keep their assets separate but still want to have certain conditions that govern the division of their assets.
In conclusion, choosing the right type of marriage contract is an important decision that every couple should make. It is advisable to seek legal advice before signing any contract to ensure that you fully understand the implications of the agreement. A marriage contract can protect your assets and ensure that you and your partner have a smooth divorce process, should it come to that. You can download free copies of the different types of marriage contracts in South Africa in PDF format online.