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What are the requirements to register an antenuptial contract?
02 April 2019  | Gerda Janse van Rensburg

So, you have chosen the girl, she has said YES!, but what about the Antenuptial contract (ANC)? 

Firstly, it is important to remember that you are automatically married in community of property, except when you sign an ANC to change the system which will be used to govern your marriage.  If you therefor don’t want to be married IN community of property you have to sign and register an ANC. 

It’s important that both of you consult the lawyer who is drawing up the ANC – because both parties need to be fully aware of the consequences of the ANC. 

Here are some requirements on the registration of an ANC:

  • The contract must be legal and enforeceable.  For example:
    1. a minor child cannot sign an ANC without the written consent of their parent or guardian, OR
    2. you cannot agree in your ANC that, should your wife have an extramarital affair, she will lose all contact with the children out of the marriage.
  • The lawyer must be a registered notary and the contract needs to be registered in a Deeds office of South Africa. ASK before you make an appointment with the lawyer and make sure that you are assisted by a qualified and competent notary.
  • The contract must also be signed BEFORE the wedding ceremony, but does not have to be registered before the wedding. The notary will issue you with a certificate that you will be able to use as proof for the marriage officer.
  • The contract must also be registered within three months of execution (signing) thereof in one of the Deeds Offices in the country.
  • And finally, if you didn’t draw up an ANC, and realise you probably should have, you can convert from community of property to an ANC after marriage. It’s much more expensive, and you do have to advertise so your creditors can object, but it’s possible, and a good lawyer should be able to guide you through the process.

Even though she has said YES and she is wearing your ring, you have to start this important new chapter by gaining enough information about ANC’s and whether it is something that you need to sign and register.  

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Tags: Marriages