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CONTACT

DETAILS

Editorial Content     Laurinda     082 738 8011         ed.gbp @ greatbrakpost.co.za
Articles & Proofing         Marianne   076 025 0153        articles @ greatbrakpost.co.za
Advertising Sales     Mike      044 620 4042        sales @ greatbrakpost.co.za

A Great Brak River and Surrounds Community Newspaper

4000 Copies Distributed Monthly from Mossel Bay to George

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 Published by Targa Publishing all rights reserved - 2016 No content of this website or Tabloid may be reproduced in any form without the consent of the owners. CONTACT DETAILS Advertising Sales    Mike 	   	  044 620 4042      									  sales @ greatbrakpost.co.za Editorial Content     Laurinda   	  082 738 8011       									  ed.gbp @ greatbrakpost.co.za Article & Proofing	   Marianne	  	  072 025 0153      									  articles @ greatbrakpost.co.za

DOES COMMON LAW MARRIAGE

EXIST?

Does Common-Law marriage exist? In South African (SA) law, there is no such thing as a common-law marriage, cohabitation does not create any automatic legal rights and duties between partners no matter how long they have lived together. There is great misunderstanding in SA regarding common law rights. There are numerous implications for both individuals when a long term relationship ends. For whatever reason, one or both partners is left rather vulnerable. Examples include; if there is no valid will, the other partner has no right to inherit under the Intestate Succession Act. There can be no reliance on the Maintenance of Surviving Spouses Act to secure maintenance should a partner pass away. Further there is no obligation on either cohabitant to maintain the other, people who live together have no enforceable right to claim maintenance from each other. Cohabitation Agreement Partners who choose not to get married should sign a domestic partnership or cohabitation agreement to protect themselves should their relationship end. A cheaper option than a court case. Domestic partners are defined as “two adults who share an emotional, physical and financial relationship like that of a married couple but who either choose not to marry or cannot legally marry. They share a mutual obligation of support for the necessities of life.” The life partnership agreement will provide for and not limited to such things as; movable property; it provides for a fair division of household goods on dissolution. Regarding immovable property it looks at who owns the home that you live in? If co-owned, one must deal with the proportion of your respective shares and who gets what, on dissolution. If solely owned, it must consider compensating the non-owner for improvements done to the property at his or her expense. If the common home is leased property, it aims to provide for who stays on when you part company. Financial arrangements covered determines the type of bank account, joint or separate? Who will pay the household and living expenses? Who will own cars and other assets? Who will enter into credit agreements? Will you take out life insurance on each other’s lives? When the relationship ends who pays the debts of the partnership? Children must be considered, if you have or intend to have children, agree whether one partner is to support the other party during the relationship if such a partner is unemployed or staying at home to care for children in the relationship. Universal Partnership Agreements is another option, we can look at this option if there is further interest.

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