There are a number of reasons why couples may opt to remain unmarried despite undertaking reciprocal obligations towards each other that are similar to those in marriage relationships. The reasons are various, from estate planning, career considerations, religious reasons, family relations to the lure of independence as an individual.
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Growing up in our infant years, we used to play ‘imaginary family house.’ This was a game whereby we would find a suitable place in the backyard and divide roles amongst ourselves and our friends. One would be chosen to act as the father, another as the mother, and others as the children. Of course, sometimes there would be disputes between two boys who both would want to act as the father especially if the girl he liked was chosen as the mother for that particular day.
Further to the usual partying of the festive season, it is also a time where many couples schedule weddings to celebrate tying the knot. The huge pressure and strain that comes with organising and putting together a wedding more often leaves some little but important details unattended to. Unfortunately for some, the importance of these minor details only becomes manifest when the spouses are already in their new home.
With bliss, anticipation and love abound, it is almost uncomfortable for a couple that is about to get married to discuss the possible dynamics around which the marriage may likely end. It is indeed an uncomfortable discussion, but one that is necessary and in best interest if looked at from the right perspective. We all wish for good things, but good things sometimes do not last.
The divorce “battle” is one of the most fiercely fought between some divorcing spouses. This is often as a result of bitterness, frustrations, anger or feelings of betrayal by a spouse once entrusted with the other’s life. In a final show of revenge to settle the scores, the aggrieved spouse will aim to walk away with as much assets as possible to the detriment of the other. This however may naturally be frustrated when the rules governing dissolution of marriages and division of matrimonial assets are applied. The question of which matrimonial property regime applies becomes important in this juncture.
It is not always a wonder why a lot of disputes sometimes arise after the reading of a Will. Not least because the Will is not clear, it is usually that some people may feel that their anticipation was not met as they thought. Such disputes sometimes spill into the Courts to challenge the Will or its validity at all costs so that it can be dispensed with, hoping that should the estate be administered and distributed according to the rules of Intestate Succession, they stand to gain more. In the end however the Courts take the principle of freedom of testation in serious light, as was held in the cases of Spies v Smith 1957 (1) SA 539 (A) and Katz and Another v Katz and Others 2004 (4) All SA 545 (C) where freedom to nominate beneficiaries was protected by the Courts.
Besides certainty antenuptial contracts bring legal effect to matrimonial property regimes and this is crucial with regards to entering contracts, as well as in the event of divorce, maintenance and devolution of deceased estates.
Many couples have the dream of getting married abroad in an exotic destination, but there are certain pitfalls that can come from doing this.
South African marital laws presume that a woman’s home is with her husband’s home and when they get married, the woman is legally bound by the laws of the country he treats as his home.
Before registering an antenuptial contract, the agreement needs to be notarised by a practicing notary attorney who has no personal relation to either one of the spouses.
An antenuptial contract is an agreement entered into by two people, who intend on getting married, before the actual marriage takes place.
Should the couple fail to enter into a valid, notarised antenuptial contract before their marriage, they will, by default, be married in community of property.
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