Marriage is generally an exciting point in the lives of all parties involved. The union of two people who love each other is always an occasion to be celebrated. However while getting wrapped up in the excitement, it is still important for the bride and groom to consider how well their assets are protected. Will they get married in community of property whereby their assets are joined, or would it be best for them to retain their ownership of assets? This is where ante-nuptial contracts come into play.
What is an Ante-Nuptial Contract?
An ante-nuptial contract, in a nutshell, allows each party of a marriage to retain ownership of their assets accrued before the union. This could be done for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it is often necessary for protecting one’s previously collected assets in the event of the dissolution of the marriage or a civil partnership. Without a prenup, all assets accrued will be split between each party equally, regardless of who brought those assets into the union.
The second reason is that it allows assets to be protected from creditors. Without being previously arranged, all assets may be vulnerable to creditors whereas with one, only the party indebted to the creditor will be responsible for meeting those obligations, keeping the other party’s assets safe.
What are Your Options with Ante-Nuptial Contracts?
Ante-nuptial agreements, before 1984 gave you fairly base options for protecting assets; you could either get married within community of property or you could not. Following 1984, however, South Africans could opt for what is called the accrual system. By this agreement, each party retains independent ownership of assets brought into the marriage, however all assets accrued during the union would be split in the event of its dissolution.
The Civil Union Act of 2006
The Civil Union Act of 2006 extends the rights of marriage and civil unions to same-sex couples. As such, these couples share in the respective rights and responsibilities associated with ante-nuptial agreements, and have the same legal consequences as opposite-sex marriages.
Contact Dreyer Engelbrecht Attorneys for Details
If you would like to learn more about planning and executing an ante-nuptial agreement for your union, be sure to get into contact with a representative from Dreyer Engelbrecht Attorneys today, or visit our website for additional information on our offers