The two matrimonial regimes in South Africa:
- Marriage in community of property
- Marriage out of community of property
MARRIAGE IN COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY
If you get married without any contract, you will be regarded as married in community of property. Being married in community of property means that you have one joint estate - all assets are jointly owned and all debts are jointly owed, including those that either party had prior to the marriage. Both parties are co-administrators of the joint estate and there are various transactions that require the consent of both parties. Assets acquired by a spouse during the period of marriage which do not form part of the accrual of the estate of that spouse are: An inheritance, legacy, donation and personal injury claims, or those specifically excluded in the Antenuptial Contract.
MARRIAGE OUT OF COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY
Marriage Out of Community of Property EXCLUDING THE ACCRUAL SYSTEM:
The basic principal of a marriage out of community of property is the separation of the estates of both parties and each therefore retaining the same financial status after marriage as he/she had before: - Each party retains his/her respective estate and each has individual control thereof. - Each party is solely liable for his/her own debts and neither sequestration nor the attachment of the property by a sheriff will have an effect on the other partner's estate.
Marriage Out of Community of Property SUBJECT TO THE ACCRUAL SYSTEM
Each spouse shares equally in the accrual of the estate of the other spouse as from date of marriage until the termination thereof. The accrual amount is calculated as follows: The accrual of each spouse is calculated by subtracting the nett value of the respective estates, at the date of marriage, from the nett value of that estate on date of termination of the marriage. The amount of the accrual of the smaller estate is subtracted from the amount of the accrual of the larger estate.