February, the month of love and romance. This is a time during which people emphasise the love they have for one another. Hence, a lot of proposals and marriages occur during this time, specifically valentine’s day.
However these memories of love and romance tend to slip away once the time comes to discuss the type of marital regime best to enter into and many couples are not aware of the different types of marital regimes and their benefits and disadvantages.
- Marriages in Community of Property
This is by far the most common marital regime amongst married couples. Should a couple not elect to sign an ante-nuptial contract, you will, by default, be married in terms of community of property.
To put it simply, once married in community of property, all assets and liabilities are shared equally between spouses. This can be an advantage as you share in the assets but is a great downfall as well as both spouses are responsible for each other’s liabilities.
- Marriages out of Community of Property, Without Accrual
In this instance an ante-nuptial contract is signed by the couple, the effect of which is that nothing is shared between the spouses. Each spouse retains their separate assets and separate liabilities before the marriage, during the marriage, and after the marriage upon death or dissolution.
- Marriages out of Community of Property, with Accrual
This is a combination of the first two regimes. During the course of the marriage each spouse manages their own estate. Upon death or dissolution of the marriage the spouse’s accrual of their assets and liabilities during the course of the marriage will be shared equally.
The decision of which is the best marital regime to enter into is ultimately up to the couple. It can be a very stressful and emotional decision. Therefore, it is best to consult with an attorney on the various marital regimes, their advantages and disadvantages, before making the important decision.
MAYA NARSAI MAKAN specializes in Divorce and Family Law Matters and is an associate at Alan Levy Attorneys Notaries and Conveyancers.