Not many people know this but marriage contracts or antenuptial contracts are also kept at the Deeds Office. It is also possible to obtain a copy of your marriage or civil union contract from the land registry office of the district where the marriage or civil union took place i.e. if you were married in Pretoria, then the contract is kept at the Pretoria Deeds Office.
mydeedsearch.co.za offers a service whereby you can obtain a copy of a marriage contract (similar to a copy of a title deed document) and get it delivered to your E-Mail address.
Marriage contracts (antenuptial contracts) and civil union contracts are notarial acts that stipulate the specific rules governing the property of the spouses. They allow couples to choose a matrimonial regime adapted to their situation, because otherwise they are automatically subject to the partnership of acquests regime. They may also include gifts, as determined by the spouses.
A marriage contract defines who owns and administers property under the matrimonial regime chosen. It also makes it possible to decide how property that is not part of the family patrimony is to be divided in the event of:
If you don't draw up an antenuptial agreement in South Africa then your marriage automatically defaults to "in community of property", and the state assumes that all assets and liabilities will be shared. There are pros and cons for this type of marriage.
An antenuptial contract or ANC means that you are married out of community of property. The accrual system was initially introduced to protect women who may earn a lot less than their partners while married - but today applies to the partner who, for whatever reason, stays at home or works part-time.
There are two types of antenuptial contracts:
ANC with accural - If the accrual is not expressly excluded in the ANC it is automatically applied. With both contracts, assets and debts are separate at the time of entering into marriage.
ANC without accrual - assets acquired before or during the marriage remain separate throughout the course of the marriage. Assets are not shared and each partner has a separate estate.