Is Marriage in a Community of Property Worth the Risk?

If you’re planning to get married, you must have a lot of things going through your mind. Among them should be the estate planning that will affect your marriage and future.


Estate planning is an important step toward ensuring a sound future for your family. It can help preserve property and assets, provide for loved ones after your death, and ensure equal inheritance of spouse.

There are various ways of planning for marriage in the community of property (MCOP) and out of community of property (OCOP). Read to know about the disadvantages of OCOP and the advantages of MCOP.

Disadvantages of being married in community of property

-Assets and liabilities become jointly owned in a marriage in community of property, meaning creditors can lay claim on both spouses’ assets to settle debt.

-This makes estate administration more complicated, as the surviving spouse may have to share their assets with the creditor.

-In community of property, spouses are jointly liable for each other’s debts. If one spouse defaults on their loan payments, the creditor can take out a surety of the other spouse’s assets.

-The cost of living is higher than with a sole property arrangement, as spouses must share household expenses and cannot afford to splurge on personal expenses alone.

-Permission may be required for certain financial decisions, such as taking out loans or standing surety for a loan.

-Marriage in community of property is a promising option for those who are looking to build lasting financial stability and security but would like to avoid the disadvantages associated with it.

Marriage Out of Community of Property Without the Accrual

For the purpose of marriage out of community of property, a spouse is considered to be in community of property with the other spouse from the date of marriage. This means that the spouses’ assets and liabilities are amalgamated as a single asset. After marriage, spouses become jointly and severally liable for all debts incurred by the joint assets or any of them. This can even include debts incurred before marriage.


Creditors are also treated equally under the law. A creditor cannot claim a preference over another creditor unless specifically mentioned in the legal documents of the asset/debt. Inheritances are excluded unless declared under the will or irrevocably allocated under a trust agreement. Last but not least, spouses must obtain permission from a court to take out any credit, home loan, sale of a large asset or to stand surety for a loan.

A Marriage Out of Community of Property Without the Accrual is applicable and come into being when the spouses sign and register their Antenuptial Agreement. The legal consequence of this marital regime is that each spouse maintains and operate their own estate without the input of their spouse.

“What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours.” This includes assets and liabilities.
It is possible to establish a marriage out of community of property without the accrual system if both spouses sign and register an antenuptial agreement.

It is a legal regime that provides for the maintenance and operation of estates of the spouses as separate and distinct from each other.

In this system, financial transactions do not require the approval of the other spouse. Both spouses are responsible for their own assets and liabilities, with anything earned by one spouse remaining the sole property of that spouse.


This system also ensures financial equality between the spouses. Debts incurred by one spouse would be equally shared by both spouses. This system is considered fair and balanced because it provides equal financial support to both couples without placing any restrictions on either spouse’s ability to maintain their estate.

Most importantly, it also ensures marital harmony and partnership.

The Notary Public will lodge your Ante-Nuptial Contract with the Deeds Office for registration after that. The registration process may take up to three months, but it doesn’t need to be lodged and registered before the date of marriage to be valid.
An Ante-Nuptial Contract (ANC) is a contract entered into before marriage and must be registered at the Deeds Office within three months of signing. This contract provides the parties with assurances about property, finances, and other issues that may arise in a marriage. An ANC can remain valid even if it is not registered before the date of marriage. It is only required to be lodged and registered by the date of marriage for it to be legally binding.

An ANC can be created online and requires a notary public to complete the registration process before it can become effective. The notary’s signature acts as proof of the contract’s legitimacy and must be included on the document itself. This contract allows each party to protect their assets accumulated in their own name during the course of a marriage.

Employment Law

MOCOP is a marital property regime that excludes the community of property and the community of profit and loss. Under MOCOP, assets acquired by each spouse during the marriage are divided between their estate and community of property. This includes property owned prior to the marriage and property acquired post-nuptial. In case of a divorce, the value of the assets acquired during the marriage (the accrual) will be shared equally between the spouses.


Under MOCOP, assets excluded from the accrual system include inheritances, legacies, donations, and damages for patrimonial loss. The accrual system is a fair marital property regime as each spouse effectively shares in the assets accumulated during the marriage. This ensures that each spouse maintains a financial stake in their relationship following marriage.

What is “Out of Community of Property”?

Out of community of property (OOC) is a marital regime where an antenuptual contract is concluded, excluding community of property, meaning each party maintains their own estate with assets and liabilities. With OOC, each spouse retains full control and contractual capacity of their estate including assets and liabilities acquired before and during the marriage. An antenuptial contract sets out the financial consequences of the marriage and couples can tailor-make the contract to suit their unique needs. If a spouse is declared insolvent, the other spouse’s property is protected from the insolvent spouse’s creditors. Out of community of property has long been considered a fair and equitable marital regime that protects spouses from the financial risks of marriage while preserving the parties’ rights to manage their property as they see fit.

Advantages of “Out of Community of Property”

The “out of community of property” marital regime allows individuals to keep the assets and liabilities of their own estate separate from those of their spouse. Under this system, each spouse maintains his or her individual estate without the input of the other spouse. This can be particularly beneficial in cases where one spouse has more assets or debts than the other (as is often the case with rich and poor spouses). Additionally, this system ensures that each spouse is not liable for the other’s debts, unless they have signed a contract of surety. Finally, this system protects against the other spouse’s creditors by ensuring that only one party must pay back any debts.

Disadvantages of “Out of Community of Property”

Antenuptial agreements, also known as antenuptial contracts, are signed by spouses before their marriage to establish the property rights of each party. A marriage out of the community of property occurs when a couple signs an antenuptial agreement that specifies who owns specific assets and how those assets will be divided following the divorce. The legal consequence of this marital regime is that each spouse maintains and operates their own estate without the input of their spouse. This means that the financially stronger spouse would maintain custody of the property and finances while the financially weaker spouse receives a share of the estate. In addition to sharing assets and liabilities, a marriage out of community of property also includes additional costs such as antenuptial contract fees. Creditors of one spouse can’t claim against the other’s assets. Finally, inheritances will be included in a divorce settlement unless specifically excluded.

How does “With Accrual” affect the matrimonial property?

The “Accrual System” of matrimonial property allows for each spouse to retain their own property during the marriage. On dissolution of the marriage, the difference in accrual between the two estates is divided equally. The “Accrual amount or portion” is calculated by taking the increase of the nett value of the estate from the date of marriage to date of death or divorce.


In cases where a couple chooses to opt-in to accrual property system, their property remains separate and creditors cannot hold the other spouse responsible for debt repayment.

However, with accrual property system, each spouse’s property remains separate and creditors cannot hold the other spouse responsible for debt repayment. This system ensures that each spouse’s property is managed separately and creditor interests are protected during marriage.

Till death do us part – the effect your marriage regime has on estate planning.

A marriage out of community of property with the accrual system is a popular marriage regime that allows each spouse to retain control of their own assets and build up their own estate independently.

The accrual system determines the difference in net starting and net final value of the two estates, and divides it equally upon dissolution of the marriage. In this system, both parties share in the growth of the assets acquired during the marriage, protecting each spouse from financial dependance.

It also protects the assets each spouse owned prior to the marriage, which are not included in the marriage contract.


Till death do us part means it’s important for both spouses to have a robust estate planning strategy in place to ensure their financial well-being after divorce. With a legal estate planning strategy in place, both spouses can ensure that their interests are protected during and after divorce.

Customary Marriages and Community of Property

In a community of property marriage, both spouses share everything equally, including assets and debts. When marrying out of community of property, each spouse keeps their own property and assets and is solely responsible for their debts.

On dissolution of the marriage, the accrual system is used to determine the difference in the net starting and final value of the estates of each spouse. The accrual is the difference between the value of the property at the start of the marriage and its value at its end.


The accrual is then divided equally on dissolution of the marriage to determine who gets what. The community property system ensures that both spouses are fairly treated in a divorce, regardless of how much they contributed to their marital estate.

South African Expatriates and Divorce

A divorce in South Africa is a legal process of dissolving a marriage. It is a traumatic experience for both the spouses involved.

As a result of such a disruption, there are various steps involved, the most important of which being the ‘matrimonial regime’ of divorce. This refers to the legal system of South Africa and the different matrimonial regimes prevailing in various provinces.


This system influences everything from property division to child custody. The financial aspect of divorce can be very tricky for both parties involved. It is essential to understand the divorce process and the various matrimonial regimes guiding it before entering into a contract of marriage.

A divorce attorney can provide valuable advice on the legal aspects of divorce. Also, emotional support and therapy may help during the process of dissolution of marriage.

Father’s Rights When Not Legally Married

Not all fathers have legal rights to their children when they are not married. Marriage is not a legally binding contract in the U.S. However, marriage is a significant social and legal union recognized by law. This union allows a husband and wife to legally share property and responsibilities of raising a child.


Fathers’ rights are an important aspect of family law and can vary from state-to-state. In some states, only biological fathers have legal custody of their children after divorce or separation. In other states, either biological or adoptive fathers can be granted custody of their children after a legal agreement has been made between the two parties.

Additionally, there is the option of joint custody where both the mother and father may have equal say in the upbringing of the child, regardless of who the child’s primary caregiver is.


While marriage is not a legally binding contract, it has become synonymous with love and commitment in our society. Therefore, it should not be ignored as a legal contract with legal implications.

Choosing the Right Lawyer for Your Case

It is important to understand the implications of different property ownership options before choosing a marital regime.

– Community property refers to property gained after marriage and is owned by both partners in equal parts.

– Marriage out of community of property without accrual system protects one partner’s property from the other partner’s creditors.

– Marriage out of community of property with accrual system divides the value of assets gained during the marriage equally between the partners upon dissolution.

– Unmarried people cannot possess community property.

None of these legal entities are perfect, but each has its strengths and weaknesses that must be considered before making a final decision.

It’s important to have a lawyer who can help you select the legal entity that best fits your needs and ideas for married life.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is marriage in a community of property really worth the risk?
Yes, marriage in community of property can be a risk worth taking if you believe that it will benefit your relationship.

Community of property is a legal system in which property and liabilities acquired before and during the marriage are combined into a joint estate. This means that both partners have an equal ownership stake in community property—50 percent each. When applying for credit, written permission from your spouse may sometimes be needed in order to avoid any conflict of interest.

As community property is shared, you are also responsible for your partner’s debt. However, this can be a great advantage because it simplifies the financial aspects of the relationship.

By having a community of property marriage, all disagreement or financial challenges are settled more quickly and easily than in a regular property marriage.

What are the benefits of marrying in a community of property?

Marrying in community of property simplifies the financial aspects of a relationship by eliminating the need for separate property ownership or contracts.

In community of property, both spouses are considered to equally own community property and each partner has a 50% ownership interest. Inheritances are included in the joint estate, unless excluded by the will. Both parties share all assets and liabilities equally.

One party must get permission from their spouse to take out credit, sell a large asset or stand surety for a loan. However, community property can also be used as a tool for avoiding financial disputes in future. For example, one spouse may want to purchase a car without having to worry about the other spouse’s opinion.

Simply getting permission from your spouse will allow them to make the decision without feeling resentment or jealousy.


While the community of property may seem like the ideal system of property division, it is not always a win-win situation. The system disadvantages women, who often find themselves in an unequal position of power and control in property-sharing relationships. It also provides no legal regulation of the marital property system.

If you’re planning to get married and community of property is your preferred system of property division, make sure that you choose a lawyer with enough experience in family law and matrimonial property law to guide you through the process.

It’s vital that your property planning is done correctly from the start so that you can enjoy a harmonious marriage and a stable future.