If you’re new to the idea of marriage in South Africa or you never gave much thought at the time to the type of marriage you registered in the past, Continue reading for an explanation from a family law lawyer.

In accordance with the Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984, South African law acknowledges the three types of marriage regimes:

  • Marriages in community of property.
  • Marriages out of community of property without accrual.
  • Marriages out of community of property with accrual.

Marriage in Community of Property

A marriage in a community of property is the most common option for a reason. It is the cheapest matrimonial regime, although somewhat flawed. An antenuptial contract is not required. In this form of marriage, your estates (what both parties own/assets and any debt/liabilities) are joined. Each has a right to half of the communal or joint estate.

Marriage Out Community of Property Without Accrual

Marriage out community of property excluding accrual involves an antenuptial contract where a community of property and profit and loss are excluded. There is no joining of estates. Each party has its own separate estate, consisting of his/her debts and assets from before the marriage.

This matrimonial property regime provides an option for spouses to include the accrual between them so that both will share equally in the growth during the marriage of each other’s separate estates.

Marriage Out Community of Property with Accrual

Anyone entering into an antenuptial contract that excludes community of property and is married under the accrual system. You and your partner may exclude the accrual system in the antenuptial, but if this is not done, the accrual applies. When it is included, a spouse will be entitled to share in the growth of the two estates during the marriage when or if it comes to an end.

What If You Want to Change Your Marital Regime?

If you and your spouse can provide sound reasons for wanting to change the regime of your marriage, for instance, changing from a marriage in a community of property to a marriage out of a community of property, then you may alter your marital regime to better suit your future. However, this process can be costly and time-consuming without the assistance of a specialist Family Law lawyer.

Are you looking for a family law lawyer in Durban? We have a team of experienced representatives equipped to support you. Contact The Law Offices of Karen Olivier, a top law firm in Durban. One of our attorneys will gladly assist you and/or provide you with advice when you need it most.