Divorce & Family Law
The finalization of a divorce is often perceived as the closing of one chapter and the commencement of a new, separate life for former spouses.
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The law in South Africa provides for couples to choose the type of matrimonial property system they prefer when entering into marriages. For those who prefer to be married out of community of property, it is required that they execute a valid Antenuptial Contract before entering into the marriage.
In South Africa an Antenuptial Contract (ANC) ought to adhere to certain prescribed formalities to be recognised as legally valid. This is very important in many respects, as spouses may later find out after so many years that the Antenuptial contract they thought was valid was, all along, not valid.
In this article we shall describe, contrast and compare the antenuptial and postnuptial contacts and as we shall see, these are some of the most important concepts in life that most of us need to familiarise ourselves with.
Seeking legal assistance before concluding a marriage will assist the parties/spouses to make informed choices regarding the matrimonial property system they prefer to be applicable to their marriage, a phenomenon which becomes critical at the time of divorce.
In a recent ruling, the Constitutional Court decided that section 1(1) of the Intestate Succession Act is unconstitutional in that it does not include life partners in relationships intended to be permanent in the definition of “spouse”.
This article is part 2 of a series where our attorneys debunk some myths on customary marriages. There are many myths and opinions in public discourse with regards to the principles surrounding customary marriages.
The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 sought to formalize and attach legal effect to customary marriages in South Africa, as well as to bring certainty on how such marriages can achieve formal status. Indigenous customs in South Africa are so vast that it would have been difficult to harmonize all of them into one single accepted code. This is evident from the wording of section 3(1)(b) of the Act. The question then becomes, does this pull against legal certainty?
The regulation of customary marriages in South Africa has come a long way, and continues to be on a path of continuous development. Indeed, societal norms and aspirations evolve with time, rendering the necessity for certain rules and principles to adapt to the changing needs of that particular society. In fact, in the landmark case of Gumede v President of the Republic of South Africa  ZACC 23 the Court stated that,
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