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Getting Married?

Antenuptal Contract - R1450

If you have made the big decision to get married, you are quickly realizing that there are many decisions that need to be made. Other than the dress, wedding and reception, there is also a key legal decision that you should make with your fiancé – whether or not you need an antenuptial agreement. As your decision will affect your legal status, contractual freedom and risk profile it is important to carefully explore your matrimonial regime options before getting married. On this website, you will find many informative articles to assist with your decision. Louwrens Koen Attorneys will gladly assist should you need to discuss your specific circumstances.

Louwrens Koen Attorneys
Tel: 087 0010 733
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Office 4, Second Floor, Northern Pavilion, Loftus Versveld, 416 Kirkness Street, Arcadia, Pretoria.

R1450 All-inclusive Fee. Easy online application process.

 

Marriage out of Community of Property with application of the Accrual System

Out community of property' means that the parties involved entered into a contract, a written agreement Notarised by a Notary Public prior to the marriage in terms of which each spouse usually retains his or her separate property and have complete freedom to deal with that property as he or she chooses. If during the marriage, one spouse is declared insolvent, the others property is protected from the insolvent spouse's creditors, subject to Section 21 of the Insolvency Act.

Should you choose this option as your marital regime, you will have to decide whether the accrual system should be applied or not. Under both options of married out of community of property (with or without the accrual system), one spouse's creditors cannot hold the other spouse responsible for debt repayment, in direct contrast to the case where the parties are married in community of property.

The accrual system is applicable to all marriages out of community of property, unless the prospective spouses specifically exclude the accrual system in their contract. 'Accrual' means increase and the accrual system is a form of sharing the assets that are built up during the marriage.

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.

Marriage out of Community of Property without application of the Accrual system.

Out community of property' means that the parties involved entered into a contract, a written agreement Notarised by a Notary Public prior to the marriage in terms of which each spouse usually retains his or her separate property and have complete freedom to deal with that property as he or she chooses. If during the marriage, one spouse is declared insolvent, the others property is protected from the insolvent spouse's creditors, subject to Section 21 of the Insolvency Act.

Should you choose this option as your marital regime, you will have to decide whether the accrual system should be applied or not. Under both options of married out of community of property (with or without the accrual system), one spouse's creditors cannot hold the other spouse responsible for debt repayment, in direct contrast to the case where the parties are married in community of property.

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.

 

Marriage in Community of Property

Marry without entering into Antenuptial Contract. Share in assets and liabilities before and after marriage.

If you do not enter into an Antenuptial Contract prior to your marriage, you will automatically be married in community of property in terms of South African Law. Both parties’ individual estates will be combined into one jointly owned estate by the marriage. This means that all per-marital assets, debt and liabilities are all pooled into one estate once the marriage is concluded, from which point onwards, only one jointly owned estate will exist. Both parties will be jointly liable for debt-repayment towards their combined creditors, irrespective whom incurred the debt. This means that if one of the parties behaves in a financial irresponsible way, the other party will also suffer because of it. Also the parties will be exposed to the business risks of the other party and will in practice not have freedom to trade.

'In community of property' means that everything each party had prior to the marriage, assets as well as liabilities, are pooled into one single jointly owned estate, once the parties marry. From this point onwards everything they earn or buy will also form part of this jointly owned estate. This also pertains to any debt or liabilities either one of them incur during the marriage. Should one spouse be reckless with his or her financial affairs, it will adversely affect the other spouse, as they are both totally liable for the debts of their jointly owned estate. As both parties are joint owners of all property in their jointly owned estate, both parties have equal rights of ownership and administration over all the assets.

Once married in community of property, there will be various transactions that require the consent of both parties. 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.

Register Antenuptial Contract

Our Process - Get Started

Louwrens Koen Attorneys registers hundreds of antenuptial contracts every year. You have numerous ways to get started. If at any time during the process you have questions do not hesitate to contact with us. We pride ourselves in being very approachable. If you have questions or need to discuss your specific circumstances contact us. contact

Louwrens Koen Attorneys
Tel: 087 0010 733
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office 4, Second Floor, Northern Pavilion, Loftus Versveld, 416 Kirkness Street, Arcadia, Pretoria.

 

Submit Online

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

E-Mail Application

Send us an E-Mail setting out your specific needs, questions and requirements. We will supply you with information and pro forma contract within 24 hours. This document can be used as a discussion document and can be changed by us to suit your needs. Once satisfied sign the contract and return to us by hand, Postnet or Courier.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download PDF

Click Here to download PDF application for. Complete as thoroughly as possible. We will supply you with an pro forma contract within 24 hours. This document can be used as a discussion document and can be changed by us to suit your needs. Once satisfied sign the contract and return to us by hand, Postnet or Courier.

Pop in at our Office

Visit our office Louwrens Koen Attorneys, Office 4, Second Floor, Northern Pavilion, Loftus Versveld, 416 Kirkness Street, Arcadia, Pretoria 0002 to discuss your specific needs, requirements or questions. We pride ourselves in being very approachable and will take the time necessary to assist you to make an informed decision.

Why use Louwrens Koen Attorneys

Let’s build great things together

Louwrens Koen Attorneys have assisted thousands of couples over the years to register an Antentenuptial Contract. Being a long established provider of this specialised service in South-Africa shows our commitment to our clients. We believe this commitment has resulted in our longevity and success.

Ease of Use

Using our application processes is easy and convenient. Getting time of at work to sit in attorneys offices is difficult, especially if there is so many other things to arrange before the wedding.

Customer Friendly

We understand the decision and registration process can be confusing and stressful. We strive to be a process friendly company, clarifying uncertainties for you. If unsure ask and ask again. We will take time to assist you to decide and guide you through the process.

Experienced and cost effective

We have literally assisted thousands of clients over the years with their antenuptial contract registration needs at an affordable rate.

Dont expose your spouse to your debt or business risk!

Consider your options

Other than the dress, wedding and reception, there is also a key legal decision that you should make with your fiancé – whether or not you need a antenuptial agreement. As your decision will affect your legal status, contractual freedom and risk profile it is important to carefully explore your matrimonial regime options before getting married. On this website you will find many informative articles to assist with your decision.Louwrens Koen Attorneys will gladly assist should you need to discuss your specific circumstances.

Freedom to Trade

Marrying in community of property can severely restrict your trade freedom.

Estate Planning

Antenuptial contracts are an important tool for effectice estate planning.

Asset Protection

Do not expose your spouse to your crdeditors or business risks.

The Accrual System as contemplated in the Matrimonial Property Act comprehensively explained

How does the Accrual system as contemplated in Chapter 1 of the Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984 work?

During the marriage, the spouses are fully independent, and there is a complete separation of property. Only on the dissolution of the marriage, the parties' financial gains during the marriage are shared equally between them.

Property acquired by the parties before the marriage is not shared. The parties are thus married out of the community of property but share fairly in the gains of the other party during the subsistence of the marriage. This can be considered a hybrid marriage contract between marriage in community of property and marriage out of community of property without application of the accrual system.

What does the expression "accrual" mean in terms of the Act?

The "accrual" of a spouse's estate is the growth which the estate of such a spouse showed during the subsistence of the marriage, i.e. the difference between the net value of that estate at the commencement of the marriage and its net value upon dissolution of the marriage.

This calculation is subject to the provisions of the Act and the conditions of the antenuptial contract.

Calculation of the Accrual

The value of each spouse's estate at the commencement of the marriage must 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 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

Automatic Inclusion of the Accrual System unless expressly excluded.

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.

 Example:

"The accrual system referred to in Chapter I of Act No. 88 of 1984 shall apply to the said intended marriage."        

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."

Can the accrual system be modified in the antenuptial contract?

Always keep in mind that the parties can include anything in the antenuptial contract as long as it is not unlawful or against public policy.

Examples of possible modifications: 

The accrual system can be made applicable on condition that the marriage has "lasted" a specific time period or on condition that a child has been born.

Example:

"The accrual system referred to in Chapter 1 of Act No. 88 of 1984, as amended to date ("the Act"), but excluding any future amendments thereof, shall apply to the intended marriage between the husband and the wife, save that no accrual claim shall arise at the instance of either spouse until the third anniversary of the solemnization of the intended marriage or until a child has been born of the intended marriage, whichever event shall first occur."

The parties can agree that the accrual system shall not operate on termination of the marriage if either party's estate is insolvent.

"The accrual system referred to in Chapter 1 of Act No. 88 of 1984, as amended to date, but excluding any future amendments thereof, shall apply to the intended marriage between the husband and the wife, save that:

  1. no accrual claim shall lie at the instance of a spouse (or the estate of such spouse)-

1.1     whose estate is at the dissolution of the marriage de facto insolvent, in the sense that the liabilities of such a spouse exceed such spouse's assets; or

1.2     who at the dissolution of the marriage is an unrehabilitated insolvent;

  1. provided that the provisions of this sub-clause shall only come into operation if the claim or the proceeds in terms of the accrual system is capable of attachment by the creditors of such insolvent spouse ."

The accrual system can be excluded in whole or in part and may be made applicable to only certain assets or income sources (for example, income earned from employment, services and business conducted). Other assets and income sources will thereby be excluded from the accrual system.

Example:

"The parties agree that their marriage shall be subject to the accrual system  in accordance with Chapter 1 of Act 88 of 1984, but only in respect of the assets that they acquire jointly or individually after the date of the said intended marriage -

  1. from income received, by the parties or any one of them:

1.1     as remuneration for work done or services rendered;

1.2     from profits derived from any business conducted, whether personally, in partnership or through a company or close corporation; and

1.3     from interest, rental or income benefits received from any trust created by the parties hereto or either of them with the assets acquired by the utilisation of the income from the sources in 1.2 and 1.3 above, but excluding income received from any other sources and, in particular, by reason of possession of assets which exist at the date of their intended marriage and income benefits received by either one of them from any other trust; and

  1. from the proceeds of the sale and re-investment of any assets which form part of the accrual according to paragraph 1 above, provided that if any asset is acquired partly out of funds forming part of the accrual in terms of the above provision and partly our of other funds, the accreditation in value of that asset which forms part of the accrual and which will on realisation of the asset and re-investment of the proceeds be deemed to be accrual funds, shall be limited to the proportion of the accreditation which the accrual funds bear to such other funds."

The contract can also provide that the parties will share in the accrual differently as the prescribed 50/50.

Inheritances, legacies and donations from third parties are not considered when calculating the accrual of a spouse's estate, unless the parties agree otherwise in the contract.

Example: 

"In determining the accrual of the estate of either of the parties at the dissolution of the intended marriage, whether by death or divorce, there shall be specifically included therein all the right, title, interest and benefits to which either of the parties is or will become entitled, whether by way of income or capital received or to be received by or accrued to him or her from a third party as a beneficiary in terms of any inheritance, legacy or donation in terms of any will, inter vivos trust or mortis causa trust created or that may be created for his or her benefit, as well as any other asset or assets which either party may acquire by virtue of his or her possession or former possession of such inheritance, legacy, donation or benefits from such trust."

The parties can even agree that donations between them as spouses shall be taken into account when calculating the accrual of the estate of the donee spouse.

"Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 5(2) of the Act, the parties agree that, in the event of the dissolution of the intended marriage by divorce, a donation between spouses, other than a donation mortis causa, shall be taken into account as part of the estate of the donee in the calculation of the accrual of the estate of the donee."

The parties may wish to be married out of community of property only to be secured against the claims of each other's creditors, but still, wish the de facto effect of the antenuptial contract to be as close as possible to a marriage in community of property.

The nett commencement value of the respective estates

If the marriage is to be subject to the accrual system, the parties may, within 6 months of the conclusion of the wedding,  declare the nett values of their respective estates either in the contract or in a separate statement certified by a notary and kept in his protocol      i

Keep in mind that because an antenuptial contract is registered at a deeds office, it is inevitably a public document. If the parties do not wish that the value of their respective estates be set out in a form to which the public has access, it will be advisable to rather make use of the statement referred to in section 6(1), as this statement is not registered at the deeds office but kept in the notary's protocol.

For further information regarding your matrimonial property regime options before getting married, do not hesitate to contact us. Louwrens Koen Attorneys have assisted thousands of couples with their antenuptial contract registration.

How and when to breach the subject.

Handy hints to get the conversation started with your intended spouse.

Handy hints to get your spouse to be on board.

Writer's firm promotes their antenuptial contract services at various marriage expo's every year. I have gained vast experience as to the mindset of these thousands of couples. It is clear from the expressions of many that they have not taken the time to discuss this vital subject. It is also evident that there are misconception and antagonism about and against antenuptial contracts. As one lady eloquently stated, "We love each other!. We don't need it". It was, however, very telling when this young lady's mother came back later to collect a brochure. It is also saddening for the writer when he consults with couples married in community of property to see the devastation caused when they lose everything due to not taking the time to plan and mitigate their risks.

We understand that to the bride and groom, marriage is a loving contract between two people, as it should be, who want to spend the rest of their lives together. In the eyes of the Law and corporate business, marriage is also a contract between two people not about love, but a variety of economic rights, freedom to trade, exposure and obligations. Should you thus not elect yourself, the Law will decide on your behalf. If you care about your spouse, you, therefore, owe it to yourself and your spouse to take the time to explore your options. Agreeing beforehand on these matters will put your marriage on a more sound footing.

It's hard to talk about marriage as if it were "business," but when it comes to creating a prenuptial agreement, that's precisely the approach you should take. A prenuptial agreement isn't an exit strategy or evidence of a lack of faith in the relationship. It merely is legal protection against the future risk you may be exposed to.

Start the conversation well beforehand -

Don't wait until a week before your wedding to discuss a prenuptial agreement with your intended. Explore the topic early in a relationship, if possible, before you become engaged.

Don't assume you are on the same page with your intended spouse.

People have all kinds of notions about antenuptial contracts from their own experiences and subjective view. Don't assume that you and your spouse-to-be are on the same page with this topic; ask.

Use your head. Not your heart.

It's tough to talk about your loving, committed relationship as if it were a business arrangement. If you and your intended can agree to be logical (rather than emotional) about preparing an antenuptial contract, you'll find it much more manageable.

Always consult your Attorney

If your spouse-to-be is hesitant in any way, suggest that he/she consult with a legal professional to explore the benefits. You may find it valuable to consult with a legal professional to understand the different kinds of issues that might be covered in an antenuptial contract. The more informed you are, the easier it will be to explain things to your intended.

Whatever your decision may be. I implore you to at least take the time to consider your options. Also, consider changing or amending your will and estate planning when getting married.

Louwrens Koen Attorneys have assisted thousands of couples with choosing the appropriate antenuptial contract. Please do not hesitate to contact us.