Should you get married with ante nuptial accrual system? Deciding on what type of ante nuptial contract you want to get married with is one of the biggest decisions you can make, other than deciding to get married to the person in the first place. All of us would like to believe that the person we are marrying is the person we will be with for the rest of our lives, however with a divorce rate of nearly 60% in South Africa, the chances of this happening are bleak. It is therefore the responsible thing to do to sign an ante nuptial contract before you get married in order to safe guard yourself.
There are a number of different types of marital contracts that can be entered in to. Firstly, you can get married in community of property which means that should you have to go through a divorce, then the assets of both parties will be split equally between the two, as well as the debts. The only danger with getting married in community of property is that should one of the parties be in severe debt at the time of the dissolution of the marriage, then that parties creditor can sue the other party in order to get back the money that is owed. Should you decide that you want to safe guard your assets then an anti-nuptial contract should be signed by both parties before the marriage and you need to decide if you should get married with ante nuptial accrual system or not.
Should you decide to get married with the application of the accrual system, then you will both have to declare the net commencement value of your assets. Should for example you start out with a net commencement value of nil but at the dissolution of the marriage have assets amounting to R2 million, then your soon to be ex partner will be entitled to half of that – R1 million. It is important to note that you can choose to exclude certain assets from the accrual. For example, should you own a house before you get married, you can leave this out of the accrual so that your ex partner has no claim to it at the time of the divorce.
The other option with ante nuptial contracts is that you get married with the exclusion of the accrual system, then your spouse would not be able to claim any of your assets at the dissolution of the marriage. This also means that should you have joint debt during your marriage, but the debt is in your name, then your ex will not be held liable for any of that debt. It is therefore essential that should you be getting married without the inclusion of the accrual system, that any debt that you have that is shared, is in both of your names so that you do not get left having to pay off all of the debt on your own.
Another important thing to realize is that in order to get an ante nuptial contract, you have to visit a lawyer which can be quite costly. This is one of the main reasons that people get married in community of property. However this could be extremely detrimental should you acquire wealth during the marriage on your own, and then at the dissolution of the marriage, have to share that wealth with your former partner. Today, it is essential that you obtain a ante nuptial contact in order to safe guard yourself in the event that the marriage does not last. The pain of having to get a divorce in the first place is enough, why add to it by losing your assets in the divorce as well.