No, Living With Your Partner for 3 Years Is Not the Same As Being Married in Community of Property

No, Living With Your Partner for 3 Years Is Not the Same As Being Married in Community of Property

  • A social media post has made the claim that living with your partner for three years equates you to being married in community of property
  • The post cited a judgement handed down by the Constitution Court in December 2021 as a source of this information
  • The judgement referred to in the post was specifically dealing with a situation in which a life partner dies and leaves a surviving partner out of the will

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Social media users have been scratching their heads after a Twitter user alleged that if you live with your partner for three years as life partners then they are eligible to receive a share in your estate.

The user went to allege that partners can claim each other's estates like couples married in a community of property would. Making it seem as though dating and living together for three years made you a married couple.

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They went on to cite a judgement handed down by the Constitutional Court on 31 December, 2021 as the source of this new info.

Fact Check, life partners, married in community of property, law of intestate succession
A court judgement has found some laws have been discriminatory to heterosexual life partners. Image: Getty Images/Stock
Source: Getty Images

The post:

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The ruling referred to in the tweet is Bwanya v Master of the High Court, Cape Town and Others is based on a real case, however, the case deals with what happens when one partner dies and they have been living with the surviving partner for a certain duration.

According to AfricaCheck, the plaintiff, in this case, had been living with her partner for three years and they had been engaged. The partner, unfortunately, died in 2016, however, the surviving partner was left out of the will.

The plaintiff argued that she was entitled to a share in the estate as she had given her partner “reciprocal duties of support”. At most times, this means financially supporting one partner.

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The High Court seemed to agree with this and ruled that certain sections of the law discriminated against heterosexual life partners. The court stated that in situations where partners took on "reciprocal duties of support" they were also entitled to spousal maintenance under the Intestate Succession Act and the Maintenance of Surviving Spouses Act.

In the court's ruling, it also differentiated between a marriage and a permanent life partnership. The two are not the same.

How South Africans reacted to the judgment

@thandomasanabo said:

"The only issue is that this judgement only caters for heterosexual relationships... What about homosexual relationships? "

@mkatekomdlhuli said:

"Good luck to them. Avoid sending money regularly to their accounts, apparently is also proof. Besides I will bribe my neighbours to say they don't know the girl might be hard to prove."

@ClaassenClint said:

"The devil is in the detail. Only relevant if the individual dies intestate, meaning in the absence of a valid will and testament."

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Stunning SA couple go viral after doing an eccentric wedding entrance

In other news, Briefly News previously reported that weddings are so beautiful and when a couple goes out of their way to make it unique, it becomes even more special.

A couple recently shared a cute moment that they had at their wedding with the world and people loved it.

In the clip that was shared by the new bride, @nelly_hlombe, she and her hubby can be seen making the wedding entrance of many hopefuls' dreams. The stunning couple made their entrance extra sweet as they danced together blissfully.

Source: Briefly News

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