In South Africa, an antenuptial contract (ANC) is a critical legal document that determines the matrimonial property regime of a marriage. While the online creation of ANCs offers convenience and cost-effectiveness, there are significant factors to consider before opting for this route.


Complexity of legal requirements: ANCs in South Africa are governed by intricate laws and regulations. The default regime is marriage in community of property, which applies if no ANC is concluded. This regime combines both parties’ estates, sharing assets and liabilities equally​​. To avoid this default, couples often choose to marry out of community of property, either with or without the accrual system. The latter allows parties to retain their separate estates, while the former enables sharing the growth of their estates post-marriage​​​​​​.


Registration and witnessing requirements: For an ANC to be legally binding, it must be signed before a notary and two witnesses and lodged with the relevant Registrar of Deeds. If not registered within three months of execution, it requires a court order for late registration​​​​.


Potential for incomplete process: If you are considering an online ANC option, it is important to be aware of the necessary steps for a valid ANC, such as registration and witnessing. While some platforms offer streamlined processes and professional vetting, caution is advised in ensuring all legal requirements are met​​​​.


Risk of invalid agreements: A common mistake is to conclude an ANC after marriage. This requires a postnuptial contract, which is more complex and requires a court order​​.


Limited legal advice: Online services may lack the comprehensive legal advice that a face-to-face consultation with an attorney provides. Attorneys can offer tailored advice based on personal circumstances, ensuring the ANC reflects the couple’s unique needs​​​​.


While online ANCs can be appealing for their efficiency and cost, the complexities and legal intricacies involved warrant a cautious approach. It’s advisable to consult with legal professionals to ensure the ANC is valid and meets all legal requirements.


Contact ESI Attorneys for professional guidance and assistance with your Antenuptial Contract.