Navigating South African Marriages: Insights from Snymans

Discover South African marriages with Snymans: Civil, Customary, and Civil Union. From Antenuptial Contracts to property ownership, navigate confidently.

November 17, 2023

As the Wedding Season sweeps in, Snymans is honoured to be a part of your journey.

This month, we're embarking on an intriguing expedition into the realm of marriages in South Africa. Whether you're a soon-to-be bride or groom, a legal enthusiast, or fascinated by the intricacies of love and commitment, we have a wealth of knowledge to share.

Three Types of Marriages in South Africa:

1. Civil Marriage: This is the most prevalent type, celebrated in government offices or licensed places of worship. You have the choice to wed in or out of the community of property.

2. Customary Marriage: Rooted in tradition, this type is acknowledged under the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act, 1998. Registration within three months is essential.

3. Civil Union: An option for all couples, permitting two people (regardless of gender) to enter into either a marriage or a civil partnership and to formalise their relationships. You can also decide whether or not to include an Antenuptial Contract.

Unlocking Marriage Contracts: Your Path to Financial Freedom

In the realm of love and commitment, understanding marriage contracts is vital. Did you know there are two primary marriage contracts in South Africa? Let's break it down:

1. Community of Property: In this scenario, both you and your spouse share all assets and liabilities equally. What's yours is theirs, and vice versa. No additional agreement is necessary.

2. Antenuptial Agreement: If you'd rather maintain separate assets, an Antenuptial Agreement must be signed before the big day. This legal document ensures that what's yours remains exclusively yours, and the same applies to your partner.  Unless it is contracted otherwise in the Antenuptial Agreement.

Remember, if you don't sign an Antenuptial Agreement, you'll automatically be married in community of property.  

Make an informed choice that aligns with your financial goals and aspirations. And for expert advice, don't forget to talk to Snymans Inc Attorneys.

Antenuptial Contract (ANC):

When it comes to safeguarding your assets, Antenuptial Contracts are your safeguard. Here's what you should be aware of:

- In Community of Property: Without an ANC, the default mode is "in community of property," where all assets and liabilities are shared equally. Debts incurred by one spouse may affect the other.

- Out of Community of Property with Accrual: Many couples choose an ANC to separate their estates. Specify whether there will be accrual or not, which means the growth of each spouse's estate during the marriage is calculated.

- Consult a Legal Professional: It's highly recommended to consult a legal expert when composing an ANC. Notarised by a notary public and registered at the Deeds Office within the set timelines, your ANC ensures peace of mind.

Ownership of Property when Getting Married:

- In community of property, Assets and liabilities are jointly owned by both spouses. Each spouse has an equal share in the combined estate.

- Out of community of property: Each spouse retains ownership of their assets, as specified in the Antenuptial Contract. Debts remain separate unless stated otherwise.

- With accrual: The growth of each spouse's estate is calculated, and the spouse with the smaller accrual is entitled to a share of the difference in case of divorce or death.

Make informed decisions, shield your assets, and embark on your marital journey with confidence. We're here to guide you through the legal intricacies of love and commitment. Stay tuned for more insights and tips! #MarriageContracts #LegalLove #SnymansSupportsWeddings

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