Viv Greene Attorneys

20 Reasons why you need an Antenuptial Contract


Are you planning to get married soon? Do you need to safeguard your interests before tying the knot? If so, entering into an ante-nuptial contract is one of the most important things you can do.

An ANC contract regulates the terms and conditions of your marriage and dictates your financial future after your marriage.

Getting married is an exciting time in the life of couples the world over. It can also be exhausting and stressful. There is also the uncertainty of whether your marriage will last or not.

So, 20 reasons why you should sign an antenuptial contract before you say the words, “I do.

1. Divorce can be emotionally & financially devastating

It is sad but true that all marriages will eventually end in either death or divorce. You need to carefully consider what will happen should yours end in divorce.

It is imperative that all couples think of ways and means to govern their proprietary rights. What if your spouse becomes indebted? Who will protect you against his or her creditors?

Signing an ante-nuptial contract will determine who gets what in the case of death or divorce.

2. An ANC protects you and your spouse from an unfair settlement 

Antenuptial contracts exist to protect you and your spouse against challenges such as creditors, costly legal fees and unforeseen death.

Antenuptial contracts are designed to ensure fair arrangements for both parties

3. Antenuptial contracts avoid drawn-out legal battles 

If a divorce is contested, it can be a long, drawn-out process.

You and your partner could spend months or even years in a courtroom if you cannot come to an agreement. An ANC addresses all your financial issues and ensures a speedy settlement.

4. You can settle your maintenance issues in a formal agreement 

The law in South Africa recognises that children below the age of 18 years must get support from their biological parents or those given the duty to maintain them.

Failing to do this is punishable by law.

Whether you are married or not, divorced, separated or living together, you are required to support the financial needs of your kids.

Should you and your spouse part ways, an ANC contract can allow you to either waive spousal support, agree to a formula for spousal support, or set out a specific amount.

5. It affords you the opportunity for a new beginning 

An ANC gives you the power to choose how your acquired assets will be dealt with in the event of death or divorce.

If you have a financially reckless spouse, you can ensure that you are protected against their creditors.

You have the opportunity to start again with a clean slate.

6. An ANC allows you to make decisions when you both feel optimistic about your relationship

Antenuptial contracts allow you and your spouse to have open and honest communication at a time when you both feel most in love with each other.

Should your marriage fail, issues that could have been addressed earlier, can potentially become major tug-of-wars during your divorce.

Signing an ANC can alleviate financial disputes during a divorce.

7. Signing an ANC can protect your business 

If you own, or partly own a business, signing an ANC can help you protect that ownership.

As a business owner, you may not be aware that your spouse may be entitled to as much as 50% share in your business after you divorce.

This is particularly the case in marriages in community of property. A business is one of the most valuable financial assets that you can own. Protect it by signing an ANC.

8. Ensure your marriage is about your relationship and not your assets 

You should marry your partner for who they are and not what they own.

The unfortunate reality is that some individuals do enter into marriages for the money.

If either of you are much wealthier than the other, it will make sense to protect your assets by entering into an ANC.

9. Sign an ANC if you are remarrying 

Remarrying comes with its own legal and financial concerns that are often more difficult to deal with than those of your first marriage.

You may own a home, have kids to support, and possess notable assets.

An antenuptial contract can ensure that these assets are distributed in the way you intended. It also ensures that neither your first, or new family are cut off.

10. Protects a financially weaker partner

An ANC not only protects the wealthier partner in the relationship, it also offers protection to the financially weaker one.

It can ensure that the financially poor spouse is not left destitute.

It will ensure that you receive sufficient assets should you and your spouse decide to divorce.

11. Prevent your partner from overriding your estate plan

You need to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes should you pass away.

Your partner has family law rights that can overturn the estate plans you have made.

This can result in costly litigation. Signing an ANC ensures peace-of-mind with regards to matters of your estate.

12. To protect a specific asset 

Should you have something of high value such as a pension fund, your home, business, vehicles, stocks or bonds, an ANC can be used to protect these and other valuable items.

13. An ANC builds firm marriage foundations

Finances are one of the top 10 leading causes for divorce in South Africa.

An ANC contract requires you and your spouse to reveal your full financial situation.

Being open and honest about your finances can help you and your partner build a strong marriage foundation.

14. Both spouses can leave a marriage that is no longer working

There are many reasons a marriage can fail.

Some of them can include infidelity, lack of communication, physical, psychological, financial or emotional abuse and more.

If you are not financially able to leave your relationship, you can feel trapped.

Signing an ANC gives you the power and financial protection you need to end a marriage that no longer works for you.

15. An ANC takes the vengeance out of divorce 

During a divorce, emotions tend to run high and spouses tend to get vengeful.

An ANC lays out very clear terms for a financial settlement and reduces the stress and frustration regarding money.

16. It reduces pressure on your relationship

An ANC contract clearly lays out what will happen in the event of a relationship ending thus reducing the pressure on both you and your spouse.

You are both given financial protection and need to understand that your life will not end or be destroyed by a divorce.

17. An ANC can be your airbag, safety belt or parachute

Some divorces are a result of months or even years of unhappiness.

There are some however, that hit you like a bolt of lightning out of the blue.

Signing an ANC means you can reduce the impact of divorce and protect your financial vitals. It allows you to put a recuperation plan into place while you recover and regroup.

18. Get a stronger understanding of your spouse’s goals, concerns and needs before you get married 

There are always important issues that need to be discussed before you get married.

These include finances and child-rearing. Open and honest discussions are imperative.

You don’t want to be thrown a curve-ball later on in your marriage. When drafting an ANC, these difficult discussions will be brought up and give you a deeper understanding of your spouse.

19. You want to give up something for your partner 

An ANC can help protect the interests of a partner that makes financial sacrifices or gives up a career.

It does more than protect the needs of a wealthy spouse.

Should you decide to be a stay-at-home parent, the ANC can offer protection and guarantee you receive compensation for your sacrifices should your marriage end.

20. It does not need to embarrassing or awkward

An ANC does not have to be about punishing another spouse.

Today, more and more men and women are open to signing an ANC than ever before. It does not have to be embarrassing or awkward.

Try to instead focus on the benefits it offers you and your spouse in the event of your divorce.

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