Ask Kate: Getting Married in South Africa

October 30, 2012

Kate Thompson has been offering heart-felt advice and sparklingly different wedding inspiration for ten years. She is married with two children, and often features in the national press. With her warm and caring nature and off-beat sense of humour, she'll answer every question with knowledgable insight and understanding to help and inspire or simply restore your peace of mind.


I hope you can help, I am so very confused by the legal side to getting married! My fiancé and I both live in the UK, I am originally from South Africa, so we are getting married in SA in Feb 2013.  Now as we are getting married there we have been advised to get the ANC contract in SA or we will be married in ‘community of property’. We wish to be married out of community of property with accrual. Will this be recognised in the UK where we will return to live after the wedding and if something should happen and we need to refer back to the contract can that be dealt with in the UK? Basically if we marry in SA under SA law I also need to know how that will be recognised in the UK.



As far as I know, the ANC (antenuptial contract) is what you need in order to be married  out of ‘ community of property’, ie. it allows you to not take on your husband’s debts or he yours.  When you get married in SA, your marriage should be legally recognised under UK law but you  do need to discuss these finer details on the ANC being recognised under UK law with a lawyer as I am unable to advise you on this.

I recommend you try  for more information as it is easy to understand:

‘Marriages in community of property

People marrying after 1988 are automatically married in community of property UNLESS they marry out of community of property by entering into an antenuptial contract which either includes or excludes the accrual system.

‘In community of property’ means that everything the couple own, and their debts, from before their marriage are put into a joint estate. All assets and debts acquired during the marriage also fall into the joint estate. The spouses are co-owners of the joint estate, each owning a 50% share thereof.’

I hope that helps and I’m sorry I can’t help you further on this occasion.

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