If couples do not enter into a valid antenuptial contract under South African Law, their marriage will be in community of property and they will have a joint estate. Since November 1984, in terms of the Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984, when choosing the matrimonial property regime, two options are available, namely out of community of property or out of community of property including the accrual system.
If couples choose the system without accrual, they will have separate estates and will not share at any point in each other’s accrual, (growth). Couples who choose to have the accrual system incorporated into their marriage will have the option to share in each other’s net accrual or growth from date of marriage, excluding any assets or values already accumulated and specifically excluded in their contract.
The accrual claim can only be acquired at the dissolution of a marriage by either divorce or death of one or both spouses and is not transferable, nor does it form part of the insolvent estate of a spouse. Parties who wish to change their marital regime after their marriage can do so by way of a court application.