You have met the right person and are ready for the next step. You have decided to get married! But before getting swept away
with love, there are some very important things to consider. We cannot forsee the future, and although it is not preferred to discuss
the eventuality of the marriage not yet entered into coming to an end, it is one of the most important conversations to have to
ensure both parties are well informed of the legal con-sequences the marriage will have.
An Antenuptual Contract (ANC) is an agreement between two people who intends to get married. The purpose ? to exclude the
community of property and profit and loss as well as to include or exclude the accrual system from the marriage. Parties are free
to include any provision in the contract, if it is not against nature, reason morality, public policy or prohibited by law etc.
Partners in a Civil Union can also conclude and register a valid ANC.
This is after the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006 came into operation
on 30 November 2006. The same legal consequences of a marriage contemplated in the Marriage Act 25 of 1961 and the provisions
of the Matrimonal Property Act 88 of 1984 applies to a Civil Union marriage.
? Contract must be entered into and signed by both parties in front of a Notary Public
? Parties must be legally competent (ie unmarried, of sound mind, duly assisted by guardian if a minor, etc)
? Must be signed in the presence of 2 witnesses
? Must be registered in the Deeds Office within 3 months of date of execution thereof
? The contract must be followed by a marriage to have force and effect
This contract may be adapted by agreement to suit the needs of both parties. The contract protects the other party from the
spouse?s creditors, protects against joint liability for debts and provides for an easier procedure at termination of marriage by death
or divorce. It can protect any assets acquired by way of inheritance or donation, which could remain the separate property of the
To change your matrimonial property regime, one would need to make an application to Court, which is a very expensive application.
Further also, given the high divorce statistics of South Africa, we advise you to please take a moment to consider taking legal
advice and to understand and consider the various matrimonial property sys-tems and the consequences it will have after you get