Love is in the fine print

The month of February is synonymous with love, romance and roses as Valentine’s Day celebrations take centre stage. With the number of marriage proposals expected to increase during the month of love, local law firm, NS Xulu Inc. encourage newly engaged couples to plan for their lives together by choosing the marital regime best suited to them.

“Couples often get caught up in this state of love and avoid discussing the details of how their finances and assets will be managed, to their detriment. It is crucial for couples to seek legal advice when compiling an ante-nuptial contract,” says Nompumelelo Xulu – Managing Director of NS Xulu Inc.

An ante-nuptial contract is a legal document signed prior to entering a marriage and regulates the financial relationship between a couple. “The matrimonial property regime in South Africa can be categorised into either: in community of property or out of community of property. Within the latter, there is a further division of being either with accrual or without accrual,” explains Nompumelelo.

Once you have made an informed decision regarding which marital regime is best suited for you, you will need to execute an ante-nuptial contract in the presence of a notary public and two witnesses. The contract itself is registered at the deeds office and is therefore a public document. “An ante-nuptial contract is neither a will, nor a divorce order and is simply meant to regulate the financial arrangement between a couple and provide protection against creditors,” says Nompumelelo.

So, if you are asked the all-important question this Valentine’s Day and agree to tie the knot, make sure your happily ever after is detailed in the fine print.

Photo credit: Okuhle Kodwa Productions.