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I want to protect my marriage

By Faeza
04 December 2015

Justice with Aus Nthabi

Question

I want to protect my marriage

Is it compulsory to register an antenuptial contract, which is a document that, under South African law, determines whether your marriage will exist in community of property or out of community of property, with or without the accrual system?

Anonymous, Johannesburg

Answer

An antenuptial contract must be registered at the Deeds office, at least six weeks before the wedding, or else it will have no effect against any person who is not a party thereto. It happens at times that engaged spouses instruct an attorney to draft and have the antenuptial contract registered at the deeds office and the attorney fails to do so. In these situations, the antenuptial contract will not be binding on creditors but it will bind the parties (married spouses). This is because at the time of entering into the contract, the parties had a common intention that their marriage should be out of community of property. A spouse cannot take advantage and claim that a marriage is in community of property just because of the negligence of the attorney.