Do I need an Antenuptial Contract?

If you have made the big decision to get married, you are quickly realising that there are many decisions that the need to be made. Other than the colour of your dress, church and wedding reception, there is also the key legal decision that you should make and that is whether or not you need an antenuptial contract. If you do not enter into an antenuptial contract and you get married then your marriage will be a marriage in community of property.

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Marriage in Community of Property

When the parties do not enter into an antenuptial contract prior to marriage they will automatically be married in community of property. The property, assets and liablilties belonging to both parties at the time of marriage or acquired any time thereafter become part of the joint estate. The parties own the assets and liabilities in equal undivided shares and they are joint administrators of the joint estate.

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What is an Antenuptial Contract?

An Antenuptial Contract, also known as a Prenuptial of Prenup, is a contract entered into by two people prior to their marriage, to stipulate the terms and conditions for the exclusion of community of property between them. The terms and conditions may not be illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. An antenuptial contract only comes into operation once the marriage certificate is signed on your wedding day, however if your marriage contract is not registered in a Deeds Office within the correct time period then the antenuptial contract is only valid between the two parties and not against creditors.

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Marriage out of Community of Property WITH Accrual

In most cases the accrual system is, perhaps, fairest marriage system for the majority of couples. Before the introduction of the accrual system in 1984, if prospective spouses chose to be married out of community of property there was no form of sharing between them of what was built up during the marriage. The accrual system was introduced to remedy this. It is applicable to all marriages out of community of property, unless otherwise stipulated.

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