Antenuptial Contract ~ We’ve all seen a movie or a TV show where a happily-about-to-be-married couple is feeling crazy in love and on top of the world, and then someone mentions the word “pre-nup” and the height of drama ensues.
Accusations start flying around the room. The bride feels like the groom doesn’t trust her. The groom thinks pre-nups are completely un-romantic. The bride is demanding to know why the groom thinks they’re going to get divorced. It’s a sad mess.
It is completely unrealistic.
Now, I do imagine that in other countries things might be a little different, but in our country there are some very good reasons to get a pre-nup before you get married, so before you takes your cues from the cast of Days of Our Lives you really do need to consult an attorney to discuss your options.
I want to put this in very basic terms so that there is no confusion.
Getting married without an ANC (Antenuptial Contract) means that you will automatically be married in community of property. You say “I do” and you are no longer two people, but one single entity.
That may sound romantic, but what it boils down to is that if your spouse rakes up thousands of Rands worth of credit card debt, you will be liable to pay it – whether you get divorced or not. One failed business venture between the two of you could sink you both. In other words, your spouse’s failed business could end up costing you your house. And that benefits nobody.
Getting married with an ANC contract keeps you as two separate people in the eyes of the government. Your debts remain yours, and vice versa.
If one of you gets into financial trouble the other may stay standing. Basically: your spouse’s business may fail, but the two of you still get to live in your house because the government recognizes it as your house and not as your spouse’s just because you are married.
As I said before, this is a very simplistic way of putting things. The point is that you should really make the effort to see your attorney to discuss a proper ANC as the logistics will be catered to your specific needs.
Do not indulge in the idea that it is unromantic and “all about divorce”. Rather view it as a sort of insurance for your future.
Happy Wedding Planning!