The accrual system is a matrimonial property regime that allows spouses to share the growth of their estates during the marriage, without joining their separate estates. The accrual is calculated by subtracting the net value of each spouse’s estate at the commencement of the marriage from the net value of each spouse’s estate at the dissolution of the marriage.
The spouse with the smaller or no accrual has a claim against the other spouse for half of the difference between their accruals1. Some spouses may choose to exclude certain assets from the accrual system in their antenuptial contract. This means that those assets will not be considered as part of their estates when calculating the accrual.
The reasons for excluding assets may vary depending on the circumstances of each case, but some possible reasons are:
To protect a specific asset that has been promised to a third party, such as a family member or a beneficiary of a trust. To retain the income derived from a share in a family business or a trust, without sharing it with the other spouse.
To avoid the risk of losing a speculative asset that may generate significant capital profits, such as a property or a stock.
To preserve the value of an asset that has sentimental or personal value, such as an inheritance, a donation, or a personal injury claim.
Excluding assets from the accrual system may have advantages or disadvantages for the spouses, depending on the outcome of the marriage and the value of the assets. Therefore, it is important to consult a legal professional before entering an antenuptial contract and to make informed decisions about the exclusion of assets.