Weddings, Marriages, Customs & The South African Law

Weddings Marriages Customs And The South African Law

The Decision to Marry
The decision to marry is possibly the single most important decision you will ever make in your life. Marriage should be forever and we hope yours is. However, statistics reveal that more than half of all marriages end up in divorce.

Legally Protect Your Futures
Martin Vermaak and Associates Inc. should be up there at the top of your Wedding Plans List. We are Specialist Divorce and Family Law Attorneys. To help your wedding go smoothly and for a more serene marriage, you will need to legally protect your future: who better than to consult with than us? We will explain to you the difference between an Ante Nuptial Contract – either with or without the Accrual system – and Community of Property. What’s more, regarding the legal side of marriage, if required we will answer all the questions you ever wanted to ask but never had the opportunity.

This is essential information that you need prior to becoming married. Both prospective wife and future husband should understand their rights and how the law can provide for them to have better peace of mind if the everlasting part doesn’t endure as long as expected.

Don’t wait till you get sick – see a doctor to stay healthy: don’t wait till your marriage is in trouble - see a Specialist Divorce and Family Law Lawyer in order to establish and maintain a healthy marriage.  

We at Martin Vermaak and Associates Inc would like you to have a fairy tale wedding, a rich and full marriage that is everlasting, and to bring all your and your family’s other legal business to us. However, we wouldn’t be doing our job properly if we didn’t recommend you to do all the correct paperwork before you embark on your blissful voyage together. You have insurance policies don’t you? How different is that to an Ante Nuptial Contract?

Different Forms of Marriage Explained

In Community Of Property
This is a popular form of marriage – what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is yours -and why not? In the first flush of wedding fever it seems the romantic thing to do but…

When two estates are united to become one, a huge disadvantage is if the business of one spouse fails, the joint estate may be declared bankrupt, and the two can lose almost everything.  

So, although financial equality may seem almost as desirable as the marriage itself, there are many times when it all ends up to the detriment of one spouse.

ANC Without Accrual (Out Of Community Of Property, Accrual Excluded)
This form of marriage means that your Attorney will draw up an ante nuptial contract that simply states that whatever you brought into the marriage will remain yours and you are allowed to do with your possession whatever you choose without obtaining prior consent from your spouse.

However, If the husband builds up his estate but the wife’s income is perhaps spent on consumable household necessities then the wife has no claim to a share of the husband’s estate – and vice versa. There is no financial equality.

This model can be recommended where each party already has their own substantial estate or income, and could therefore be appropriate in cases of second or further marriages.

ANC With Accrual (Out Of Community Of Property With Accrual)
This form of marriage is very popular. It is based on equality and managed as a partnership.

Your Attorney will draw up a contract which basically states that whatever you brought into the marriage can be included in the accrual. If no assets and no commencement value of the estates is mentioned in the ante nuptial contract, it will be considered that the value of the estates at the commencement of the marriage was nil.

Additional assets that are either inherited, or perhaps damages for personal injury, as well as donations, are excluded from accrual, unless the spouses agree otherwise in their ante nuptial contract. So basically, whatever the parties jointly acquired is considered to be part of the accrual. 

Upon termination of the marriage, whether by death or divorce, the net estate values are determined separately, and the larger estate must then transfer half of the difference to the smaller estate.  This is however only applicable to the above scenario and therefore not attachable in the case of a judgment or insolvency.