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Getting Married? Why you should register an antenuptial contract.


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Getting Married? Why you should register an antenuptial contract.
When two persons that are about to be married enter into an Antenuptial Contract their marriage will be out of community of property.

The most common consequences of a marriage out of community of property are as follows:
  • The parties will not be held liable for the debts of a spouse that such spouse may have incurred prior to the marriage; 
  • The parties will not be held liable for the debts of a spouse that such spouse may incur during the marriage; 
  • Assets may be protected, particularly if one of the spouses has a business in his or her own name. The parties may decide to register assets such as their residential property in the name of only one spouse, being the spouse with the lowest risk profile. The assets of each spouse will also be safe in the event that the other spouse is sequestrated; 
  • One or both spouses may have assets prior to the marriage that they want to exclude from the joint estate; 
  • Spouses may enter into commercial transactions without the consent of their spouse;
  • Each spouse retains control over his or her assets, builds his or her own estate and is responsible for his or her own debts.
 

Your Marital Regime Choices


You must choose one before getting married. Your choice will have financial and legal consequences. You are therefore urged to carefully consider your options. If you still have questions message us or book a free 20 min consultation with our attorney. Get Started - Explore your options.

With Accrual - Marriage out of community of property with implementation of the accrual system. Most Popular.

The underlying philosophy in respect of the accrual system is that each party is entitled to take out the asset value that he or she brought into the marriage, and then share what they have built up together. It is however possible to draft the Antenuptial Contract in such a way that the parties share both their pre-marital and post-marital assets on a 50/50 basis, just as if they were married in community of property, but without incurring liability for each other’s debt. Best suited for younger couples. Especially where one of the spouses has his/her own business.

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Without Accrual - Marriage Out of Community of Property without implementation of the accrual system.

Without Accrual the parties specifically declare that the Accrual system as set out in the Matrimonial Property Act will not be applicable to their marriage and will specifically be excluded. Each spouse retains his/her own assets and own accrual – no sharing unless Antenuptial contract compels donations or court orders transfer of assets. In the case of death or divorce, a spouse is entitled only to those assets accrued in his/her name. Should one of the spouses stay at home to raise children, that partner would not be entitled to the assets accumulated by the other partner. Practical for second marriages, marriages where the parties already have children , where both parties have already amassed a sizeable estate or in so called marriages of convenience it simplifies matters drastically.

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In Community - Marriage in Community of Property

The most prejudicial consequence of marrying in community of property, is that assets in the joint estate will always be vulnerable to the claims of creditors of both spouses. This marital regime is definitely not recommended for spouses running their own independent businesses as premarital and post-marital liabilities will become communal, thereby endangering the good standing of not just one, but both spouses.

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Donations between spouses in antenuptial contracts 


The prohibition against donations between spouses was repealed by the Matrimonial Property Act. Donations between spouses do not form part of the accrual, unless the parties agree otherwise in the contract  Donations set out in the antenuptial can serve as proof on the insolvency of one of the spouses that the property in question belongs to the other solvent spouse. 

This is of particular advantage to the spouses when the goods in question are attempted to be attached. Where the accrual systems is excluded in terms of the contract, the “breadwinner” spouse can out of consideration of fairness and to acknowledge the other spouse's contribution to the marriage, make donations in favor of that spouse. No donation tax is payable in respect of the value of property which is donated to the spouse of the donor under a duly registered antenuptial/postnuptial contract.  

No estate duty is payable on the value of property donated to or for the benefit of the spouse of the donor under a duly registered antenuptial/postnuptial contract.

Clauses that may not be entered in a antenuptial contract


Clauses that are regarded as contra bonis mores and which may not be included in the antenuptial contract

The parties are free to include any provision in the antenuptial contract, as long as it is not against nature, reason, morality, public policy or prohibited by law. Clauses of this nature will be null and void.  

 Clauses that are regarded as contra bonis mores and which may not be included in the antenuptial contract:

1.            An undertaking by a spouse to change religion.
2. A clause stating that marital disputes must be referred to arbitration.
3. A clause recreating the husband’s marital power.
4. A clause stating that the parties will not live together as man and wife after the marriage.
5. A clause permitting the parties to commit adultery.
6. A clause where one of the parties undertake to resign after marriage. 


Herewith some common clauses entered. 

  • Exclude Community of Property
  • Profit and Loss
  • Include or exclude the Accrual system
  • Changing Percentage of Accrual
  • Donations between Spouses
  • Insurance policies
  • Exclusion of particular assets
  • Mutual will (Pactum Successorium)
  • Creation of a Trust

Costs - R1450


Free 20 min Consultation - Antenuptial Contract

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  • When you have gone through all the provided articles and frequently asked questions and still have questions. Or you have unique circumstances you wish to discuss in person with an specialist attorney. Sometimes the parties prefer to sign the agreement before the Notary Public in person. Only available if you have already registered and paid for the registration of an antenuptial contract.

Antenuptial Contracts - Resources


Antenuptial Contract Brochure

Antenuptial Contracts Explained

Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984

Down Matrimonial Property Act PDF

Recognition of Customary Marriages Act

To makeprovision for the recognition of customary marriages; to specify the requirements for a valid customary marriage; to regulate the registration of customary marriages; to provide for the equal status and capacity of spouses in customary marriages; to regulate the proprietary consequences of customary marriages and the capacity of spouses of such marriages; to regulate the dissolution of customary marriages; to provide for the making of regulations; to repeal certain provisions of certain laws; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Online Application - Get Started


Complete the online form as thoroughly as possible and submit. We will supply you with an pro forma antenuptial contract within 24 hours. This document can be used as a discussion document and can be changed by us to suit your needs if necessary . Once satisfied sign the contract and return to us by hand, Postnet or Courier. We will supply detailed instructions.

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About Our Antenuptial Contract Registration Service


12 Years running - Thousands of couples assisted using our online application process.

Louwrens Koen Attorneys have already assisted thousands of couples with their Antenuptial Contract registration needs.

Using our efficient online application form we have assisted thousands of couples. We pride ourselves in being approachable. Do not hesitate to contact us with your questions or schedule a free consultation. Louwrens Koen Attorneys


Contact


  • Louwrens Koen Attorneys 417 Kirkness Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria, South Africa

Louwrens Koen Attorneys have assisted thousands of couples to register an antenuptial contract. We pride ourselves in being very approachable. As this will affect your legal status and is therefore an very important matter do not hesitate to contact with any questions you might have.


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F.A.Q - Antenuptial Contracts 


An antenuptial agreement is entered into where couples do not want to get married in community of property and is concluded before marriage. An antenuptial agreement might be especially important for someone who already has assets like a business, or family obligations like children from a previous marriage.
An antenuptial agreement, otherwise known as a prenuptial agreement or prenup, is a contract made between two individuals who are planning to get married. Antenuptial agreements are documents that set forth the rights of each spouse and the property division in the event of a divorce.
Antenuptial contract with accrual refers to one of three civil marriage regimes recognised under South African law. Most commonly known as “Marriage out of Community of Property subject to the Accrual System”, this system requires an antenuptial agreement to be drawn up by an attorney before the date of marriage. If the parties marry without entering into an antenuptial contract first the will be married in community of property. 
It is possible to enter into an Antenuptial Contract after marriage – this is called a Postnuptial Contract.
An antenuptial agreement is entered into where couples do not want to get married in community of property and is concluded before marriage. An antenuptial agreement might be especially important for someone who already has assets like a business, or family obligations like children from a previous marriage.

These are assets owned by either spouse, or even by the spouses jointly, that they want to ignore when calculating accrual. By excluding an asset, you prevent your spouse from obtaining any benefit from the growth on the value of that asset during the marriage.
We register an antenuptial contract for R1450 all inclusive fee. 

The contract must be entered into/ signed before the marriage, The said contract must further be executed in front of two competent witnesses and attested by a notary before the marriage, Once executed the contract must be registered in the Deeds Office within 3 months of executing the contract.
An Antenuptial contract is an agreement entered into between two parties prior to their marriage and is often referred to as a “prenuptial”. ... During the marriage each spouse will retain his or her separate property and would have complete freedom to deal with that property as he or she chooses.

How to calculate the accrual?
  1. DETERMINE THE VALUE OF THE ASSETS: Draft a list of all the assets. ...
  2. DEDUCT THE FOLLOWING FROM THE TOTAL VALUE OF THE ASSETS: The commencement value as stated in the antenuptial contract (adjusted to be in line with the weighted average of the Consumer Price Index), ...
  3. THE RESULT = “The Accrual”
No particular formalities are required for an antenuptial contract to be valid and enforceable between the parties thereto. ... Consequently any antenuptial contract, which is proved to have been entered into between the intended spouses, no matter how informally, will be valid inter partes.
Once executed the contract must be registered in the Deeds Office within 3 months of executing the contract.
Remember, it must be executed before you get married either by you and your spouse or a person having a special power of attorney. If it is not done before you get married, you would be married in community of property. The only way to change that would be to approach the High Court for consent to change it.
Pros Of Getting Married Out Of Community Of Property With Accrual:
  •  The spouses share the increase in their assets accumulated during the marriage and the economically weaker spouse will benefit.
  • The spouses do not share their assets acquired before their marriage (but only if excluded in the ANC or included in the commencement values of the parties’ estates). The accrual system appeals to people who are already wealthy at the time of marriage.
  • During the course of the marriage, each spouse manages his/her estate at will. There is no complex joint or equal administration.
  • The spouses are not liable for each other’s debts. All that they share is their net assets. Thus, if one spouse becomes insolvent, the other spouse is protected against creditors.
Cons Of Getting Married Out Of Community Of Property With Accrual:
  • The economically stronger spouse has to share the profits that he/she made during the marriage.
  • One has to enter into an ANC in order for the accrual system to apply.
  • The calculation of accrual at the end of the marriage can be a bit complex.
Pros Of Getting Married Out Of Community Of Property Without Accrual:
  • Each party will keep their individual assets and liabilities separate and can handle it however he/she likes.
  • Spouses are not liable for each other’s debts, thus if one spouse becomes insolvent creditors cannot make a claim against the solvent spouse with regards to their assets.
  • The financially and/or economically stronger spouse is not legally obligated to share his/her assets with the financially and/or economically weaker spouse. This is subject to judicial discretion and forfeiture of benefits.
Cons Of Getting Married Out Of Community Of Property Without Accrual:
  • The economically and/or financially weaker spouse does not get to share in the estate of the economically and/or financially stronger spouse even if the other party indirectly contributed.
  • An ANC has to be entered into prior to marriage which incurred additional fees.
As a result of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006 which came into operation on 30 November 2006, partners in a civil union can also conclude and register a valid antenuptial contract.

A “civil union” is a “voluntary union of two persons who are both 18 years of age or older, which is solemnised and registered by way of either a marriage or a civil partnership, in accordance with the Act, while it lasts, to the exclusion of all.

The same practices and procedures applicable to the registration of antenuptial contracts of persons married in terms of the Marriage Act 25 of 1961 apply to the registration of antenuptial contracts of persons joined in a civil union. The legal consequences of a marriage contemplated in the Marriage Act and the provisions of the Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984 apply to a civil union in exactly the same manner as it is applicable to persons married in terms of the Marriage Act.
The proprietary consequences of a customary marriage (in which a spouse is not a partner in another customary marriage), concluded after commencement of the Act is regulated by the Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984 in the same manner as it is applicable to other marriages. Customary marriages entered into after commencement of the act (if a spouse is not a partner in any existing customary marriage), is a marriage in community of property and profit and loss, unless the parties enter into an antenuptial contract which will regulate the matrimonial property system of their marriages.
Customary marriages entered into before commencement of the Act remains subject to customary law. The spouses may nevertheless apply to the court for leave to change the matrimonial property system applicable to their marriage -
Consent and assistance by parent/ legal guardian.

If an intended spouse is still a minor, he/she must be assisted by one of his/her parents or by his legal guardian when executing the antenuptial contract Although only the consent of one of the parents or the legal guardian is required to the entering into of the antenuptial contract, both parents must consent to the contracting of the marriage.

Take note that the minor himself must sign the contract. The parent or guardian may not sign the contract on behalf of the minor. The parent or guardian will simply signify his/her assistance by co-signing the contract together with the minor.
Both parents must assist the minor if the antenuptial contract makes provision for any alienation of immovable property or a right to immovable thereto belonging to the minor. If the parent/s or the legal guardian of the minor refuses to consent to the minor entering into the antenuptial contract, the High Court as upper guardian may on application grant the necessary consent

A marriage entered into by a minor without the necessary consent is not void, but may be dissolved by the High Court on application by the parents or legal guardian of the minor. The application must be brought before the minor attains majority or within 6 weeks after the date on which the guardian became aware of the marriage.
Calculation of the accrual?
The value of each spouse’s estate at commencement of the marriage must either be disclosed in the antenuptial contract or in a separate statement. If no value is recorded, the nett commencement value will be presumed to be nil.

On dissolution of the marriage each spouse’s estate will be valued again in order to calculate the growth/accrual of each estate. The commencement values are adjusted to make provision for inflation. The following assets are however left out of account in calculation of the accrual, unless the antenuptial contract provides to the contrary:
  • Damages received for non-patrimonial  loss ;
  • Inheritances, legacies and donations received from third parties Section
  • Assets especially excluded from the accrual in the antenuptial contract -
  • Donations between the spouses -
The spouse whose estate shows a smaller increase has a claim against the spouse whose estate shows the greater increase, for half the difference between the respective accruals.
If the parties enter into an antenuptial contract, the accrual system will automatically apply to their marriage out of community of property, unless it is expressly excluded in the contract. In order to prevent any uncertainty it is advisable to nevertheless insert a clause in the contract in which it is stated that the marriage is subject to the accrual system.
If the parties do not wish for the marriage to be subject to the accrual system, a clause to this effect must be inserted accordingly.

Example
“The said intended marriage will not be subject to the provisions of Chapter I of the Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984 and the accrual system is hereby expressly excluded.”

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