An Antenuptial Contract is an agreement entered into between two parties prior to their marriage and must be signed before a notary before registration in the Deeds Office.
In the absence of an ante nuptial contract, the parties are married in Community of Property which means that their estates are joined and they share assets and liabilities. Unfortunately, all debts incurred by one partner are debts of the joint estate which means that you may find yourself liable for your partner’s debts. Under this regime, your partner’s written consent is required in the case of purchase of immovable property; cars or financial investments. Likewise you may not enter into a credit contract or bind yourself as a surety without your partner’s written consent.
Etienne Bedeker talks about Antenuptial / Prenuptial agreements.
Out of community of property
We recommend to all our clients to be married out of community of property by signing an Antenuptial Agreement before the date of marriage.
By signing an antenuptial contract before you get married your estates are separated. The husband is the sole owner of his assets and is responsible for his own liabilities and the wife also has her own assets and liabilities. They will never be responsible for each other’s debts. Each party may enter into all contracts without the written consent of the other party.
When signing an ante nuptial contract the parties have 2 options:
A) WITHOUT THE ACCRUAL
This means the parties will never share assets neither before nor after the marriage.
B) WITH THE ACCRUAL
The parties will list their nett asset values (assets minus liabilities) at the date of marriage and upon divorce or death the nett asset value of each party will be calculated again and the difference between the nett starting values and the nett ending values will reflect each party’s accrual during the marriage. The party with the larger accrual will then have to pay the party with the smaller accrual 50 % of the difference between the accruals.