Don’t Say “I Do” Without Knowing This! Marriage & Antenuptial Contracts Explained

By 28th February 2024Family Law
antenuptial contract

Planning your dream wedding? While the venue, dress, and cake are exciting, there’s something much more important: understanding how marriage affects your finances, especially if you don’t have an antenuptial contract.

What’s the Big Deal?

South Africa recognizes three types of marriage: civil, customary, and civil unions. In all cases, if you don’t have an antenuptial contract, you’re automatically married “in community of property.” This means your assets and debts get combined, impacting both of you financially.

Protecting Yourself:

An antenuptial contract is a legal agreement signed before marriage. It allows you to:

  • Choose a different property regime: You can opt for “out of community of property with accrual” (separate assets with shared growth) or “out of community of property excluding accrual” (complete separation of assets and liabilities).
  • Avoid financial surprises: Having a clear agreement avoids potential disputes and misunderstandings later.
  • Protect yourself from creditors: An antenuptial contract can help shield your personal assets from your spouse’s debts.

What are the Options?

Here’s a quick overview of the three main regimes:

  • In Community of Property: Everything is shared, including debts.
  • Out of Community of Property with Accrual: Assets remain separate, but the growth in each spouse’s estate during the marriage is shared equally upon divorce.
  • Out of Community of Property Excluding Accrual: Complete separation of assets and liabilities.

Choosing the Right Regime:

The best regime depends on your individual circumstances and future goals. Consulting with a legal professional can help you understand your options and make an informed decision.


An antenuptial contract isn’t about distrust; it’s about planning for your future together. Don’t let financial worries cloud your happily ever after. Saying “I do” shouldn’t come with financial anxieties. An antenuptial contract provides clarity and security for your future together. You can choose how your assets and debts are handled, protecting yourself from unforeseen circumstances and avoiding future disputes. Whether you’re starting a new chapter or entering marriage with existing assets, an antenuptial contract allows you to plan proactively and secure your financial well-being.

Contact us today for a personalized consultation and peace of mind as you embark on your journey together.

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