Marriages with Accrual: Understanding the Basics

When it comes to marriage, legal matters might not be the most romantic topic, but they’re essential for your financial well-being. Let’s dive into Marriages with Accrual—what they are, how they work, and why they matter.

 What Is a Marriage Out of Community of Property with Accrual? 

Imagine you and your partner each have your own separate financial worlds. That’s what a Marriage Out of Community of Property with Accrual is all about. It’s like having two parallel estates—one for you and one for your spouse. 

When Does Accrual Sharing Happen? 

The magic word here is dissolution—when the marriage ends due to divorce or the unfortunate passing of a spouse. At that moment, both spouses (or their estates) share in the growth of their respective estates during the marriage. 

Why Choose a Marriage with Accrual?

Fairness and Sharing:
The idea behind the accrual system is fairness. Even though you maintain separate estates during marriage, you both benefit from the growth. It’s like saying, “Hey, we’re in this together, even if we keep our money separate.” 

Debt Protection:
Each spouse is responsible for their own debts. If one partner faces financial trouble, it doesn’t spill over to the other. Protection from creditors—sounds good, right?

Control and Equality: You get to manage your own estate without unduly affecting your partner’s rights. The spouse with the smaller estate catches up—equality in action.

The accrual system is a way to share the growth of your estates during your marriage. Here’s a step-by-step guide: Understand the Basics: The accrual is the amount your estate has increased in value from the start of your marriage to its dissolution (due to divorce or death). It ensures that both spouses share in the growth, even though you maintain separate estates during marriage. 

What’s Included in Your Estate:

First, add up all your current assets: Immovable property (like houses or land) Share block interests Vehicles, boats, and airplanes Livestock Equipment and tools Cash, investments, and other financial assets Jewelry, clothing, and personal items Loan accounts in companies or partnerships Members’ interests in close corporations Furniture, works of art, and collectibles Policies and pension benefits that have already accrued 

Exclusions from Accrual:

Some assets are excluded from the accrual: 

  • Damages (except for damages related to patrimonial loss).
    Inheritances, legacies, or donations received from third parties (unless agreed otherwise).
    Donations between spouses during their lifetime.
    Assets specifically excluded from accrual specified in the antenuptial contract.

Calculate the Accrual: 
Subtract the net value of your estate at the commencement of the marriage (adjusted with inflation) from the net value of your estate at the dissolution of the marriage. The difference is your accrual. 

Claimable Accrual:
The spouse with the smaller estate has a claim against the spouse with the larger estate. They can claim half of the difference between the accruals of both spouses’ estates. Remember, the accrual system aims for fairness and equality. It’s about sharing the journey, even when your financial paths remain separate. If you have specific numbers or need legal advice, consult a professional attorney to guide you through the process