Marriage contracts in South Africa | All you need to know in 2022

Marriage contracts in South Africa | All you need to know in 2022

Before and after a wedding, some important things cannot be overlooked by the partners involved. For instance, marriage contracts in South Africa and around the world are a thing now as they help both parties to legalise their roles and responsibilities within the ambit of the law that guides the union.

Marriage contracts
Before marrying, it is essential to know different marriage contracts that exist to make an informed decision. Photo: @onezonestudio,
Source: UGC

While there are different types of marriage contracts, bear in mind that a marriage contract determines how your property will be divided when there are cases of death or divorce. Therefore, although each has its peculiar pros and cons., you must be well-armed with the requisite information before choosing from the options.

What are the 3 types of marriage?

The types of marriages that exist for potential husbands and wives are:

1. Civil marriages

This type of union is for the reserve of heterosexual lovers, and it is easily the commonest of marriages in South Africa.

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2. Civil union

This type of marriage is legalised by the Civil Union Act of 2006, precisely Act No. 17 of 2006. The Act legalised homosexual nuptials. Specifically, it allows two individuals to form a civil partnership or union irrespective of their gender. It can, therefore, still be used as a reference Act for the marriage of heterosexual couples.

3. Customary marriage

The customary law legalises this type of marriage, also referred to as traditional marriage in South Africa. The law that controls this matrimony is also in charge of lobolas.

Types of marriage contracts in South Africa

There are majorly two types of marriage contracts in South Africa and worldwide; the second is further divided into two, leading to technically three types. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages that are peculiar to them. So, what type of contract is marriage? Different contracts under which nuptials operates are discussed below:

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Types of marriage contracts in South Africa
A newly-wed couple having fun. Photo: @onezonestudio,
Source: UGC

Marriage in community of property

This marriage contract ensures that everything owned by the two individuals before and during their matrimony is combined and becomes the equal property of both. The only thing exempted are inheritance and gifts from third parties.

But then, what is the default marriage contract in South Africa? This kind of agreement will usually operate in your matrimony whether or not you and your spouse agree to it. Therefore, the couple getting married must engage each other on what they prefer.

Some features of this type of partnership are:

  • Assets and liabilities are managed by the couple together;
  • Whether or not you are the original owner of an asset, you must seek the permission of your partner to sell or buy any property while both of you live as husband and wife. This means that all businesses must be done with the express permission of both parties in the marriage since the profit and loss will be shared equally;
  • In the case of a divorce, each party is entitled to half of their combined assets or liability;
  • Any debt and liabilities that an individual accrues before their wedding and while their union lasts as a husband and wife will be shared by the other partner. This means that a creditor may deem the couple's joint estate as collateral.

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Marriage outside of the community of property with accrual

The difference between this and the aforementioned is that everything you have accomplished before and during your union as a husband and wife is solely yours and not coowned with your partner. Nevertheless, some of the features of this agreement include:

Marriage contracts
A newly-wedded couple. Photo: @onezonestudio,
Source: UGC
  • You can do whatever you want with your asset without getting permission from your better half;
  • If the union eventually goes through a divorce, neither of the partners has any claim on the asset of the other;
  • Liabilities accrued before your wedding and while both of you live as a husband and wife are the sole responsibility of the partner involved;
  • If you decide to put your personal goals on hold for your wedding's sake, you do so at your risk because your partner is not under any obligation to share their asset with you.

What are the requirements in contract marriage?

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The parties involved must consent to a marriage contract to stand. The parties must have agreed to become married partners before wedlock is legalised. However, it is one thing for the partners to consent, and it is another thing for their age and mental and financial capacities to prove the same.

In other words, a minor (a person aged under 18) in South Africa can not consent to a wedding. On the same note, a mentally deranged person cannot be considered fit to consent to a union.

Marriage contracts are now essential, especially for those carried out under the law because it allows the partners involved to understand their responsibilities in the union. Once you weigh the options and the effects on you, you can choose what is in your best interest.

READ ALSO: Online marital status check South Africa 2022 (with infographics)

Do you stand the awful feeling of realising that your details were used in a marital contract without your consent? discusses the processes involved in conducting an online marital status check.

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But then, do you know that the Department of Home Affairs has introduced smart card Identification documents? Check out the post to learn more about the bar codes on the card and how to use them.

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

Source: Briefly News

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