Stroh Coetzee Inc can assist with your marriage contract.
Great care should be taken to properly decide the TERMS AND CONSEQUENCES of your MARRIAGE CONTRACT. Marriage is a sacred union between two individuals, but it is also a legally binding agreement between two parties with certain legal obligations.
Why draft a marriage contract?
In its most basic legal sense, marriage is In Community Of Property. When married In Community of Property, the estates of both parties are merged into one estate with an applicable 50/50 split of all assets and liabilities in the event of death or divorce.
Any legal agreement, from bond applications to cell phone contracts, need to be signed by both parties. It also means that any potential and future legal disasters, such as insolvency or debt, are liable to both parties. Should you divorce, all assets and liabilities are shared by both partners. In the event of the death of one partner, the surviving partner is left unprotected.
By getting married without an Ante Nuptial Contract (ANC), you are automatically married In Community Of Property and put yourself and your spouse at unnecessary risk.
What is an ANC?
An Ante Nuptial Contract allows both parties to retain any assets held before, as well as acquired during, the marriage. The main goal is to allow both parties to enjoy the legal freedoms held before marriage and to protect both partners from financial disasters that may occur in the future.
If parties wish to enter into a marriage Out of Community of Property (in other words to avoid the “we share everything” principle), they need to sign an ante nuptial contract. The main benefit of an ANC is that the properties, debt or assets of both remain completely separate. There is also protection for either spouses in the event of insolvency, death or divorce.
Marriage out of community of property therefore works on the principle of “what is mine is mine, what is yours is yours.”
What type of ANC do you need?
The ANC with Accrual is a variation of the ANC. Any asset you had before the marriage remains yours, but both partners are entitled to a 50/50 share in the estate growth of the combined estates that occurs during the marriage. The accrual is only calculated during divorce or after one partner dies.
Marriage out of community of property with the accrual system therefore works on the principle of “I am entitled to half of what you have earned during our marriage.”
When a couple enters into a marriage out of community of property with accrual, the signing of an ante nuptial contract with clear guidelines is crucial.