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News & Resources

Divorce and Property
01 March 2021  | Charné Barnes

Property is a good investment to have in the Long term and most people only acquire property once they are married as it is financially easier to afford property and it is seen as a start to new life together. Couples are never faced with the thought of a divorce until an event occurs that causes couples to split.

The termination of a marriage in community of property causes the dissolution of the community of property in the joint estate that existed between the spouses during the marriage. This dissolution of the community of property, awards the parties each their separate estates. This means that such a dissolution of the estate will definitely affect immovable property that formed part of the joint estate which the parties acquired together.

While property owned by either spouse prior to the marriage can remain the property of the Original Owner, most things acquired after the wedding (Community of Property) and before separation are often subject to division upon divorce.

Immovable property registered in favor of the joint estate entails that both parties to the marriage have an undivided ½ (half share) in the property and is seen as co-owners of the said property.

The one party to the divorce, who is also the owner of the property, alienates his/her half share to his/her former spouse. The provisions of Sec 45 bis (1) (a) of the Deeds Registries Act should be applied. An application by both parties will be lodged together with the Decree of Divorce, order and the settlement agreement, and the Act is applied to update the Deeds office records and reflect the correct position in the Title Deed.

A conventional deed of transfer, together with all the appropriate accompanying documentation, should be lodged for the transfer of the half share.

Subsequent to the divorce of the parties, one of the former spouses, alienates her/his half share to the other spouse.  The title deed of the property still reflects that the parties are married in community of property to each other, as registered owner, however on the last page of the Title deed the Deed will be Endorsed to reflect that the half share of one of the spouses have been transferred to the other spouse in whose favor the application was brought.
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Tags: Property