Division of assets in a divorce

Depending on how you got married, determines the way in which your assets will be divided when you divorce.

Prenuptial agreements

If you do not enter into a prenuptial agreement you are deemed to be married in community of property under South African law.

In Community of property

In community of property means that at the time of your divorce the assets of both parties are divided equally and the fact that the assets may have been acquired before your marriage is not considered.

Whatever assets each person holds, including property, cash, investments and even shares or business interests need to be valued and divided equally unless the parties agree otherwise and reduce it to writing.

Out of community of property with the accrual

At the time of signing your prenuptial agreement, your assets and liabilities will be shown and excluded from the accrual.

Out of community of property with the accrual means that any assets acquired during the marriage are divided equally between the parties and any specific exclusions noted in the prenuptial agreement do not form part of the accrual.

Out of community of property

This form of prenuptial agreement simply means that whatever assets are owned by the parties before or during the marriage remain the property of the individual.

Divorces are seldom as simple as they are laid out above and usually involve a negotiation and final settlement. The valuation of assets and the manner in which either party has lived their luves during the marriage has a bearing on the settlement. For example, a woman married out of community of property who has never worked and earned an income during the marriage may have a case to claim alimony from her ex husband.

Where children are involved, there is always a child maintenance consideration which is determined by the costs involved in maintaining the children in the home of the parent who has custody of the children.

Read more about child maintenance calculations.