I was never interested in marriage until recently when I met a woman I consider settling down with. However, my immediate worry — in case the marriage fails to work out — are my investments in real estate safe? I am not ready to share them with my ex-wife. Is there a legal agreement we can sign before we get married that will block her from claiming any of my houses in the event our marriage ends in divorce?
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Since the Matrimonial Property Act became operational on January 16, it is now possible for people intending to marry to enter into a prenuptial agreement, which will guide the sharing of property in the event of a divorce. However, the new law also allows the aggrieved spouse to move to court to set aside the prenuptial agreement in case it was influenced by fraud, coercion or is manifestly unjust. In the absence of the prenuptial agreement, ownership of the matrimonial property vests in both spouses according to their contribution towards its acquisition and shall be divided between them upon divorce. Contribution means both monetary and non-monetary and includes domestic work and management of the matrimonial home.
Others are childcare, companionship, and management of family business or property and farm work. It also acknowledges as non-monetary contribution, a family business that is run for the benefit of the family by either spouse and generates income or other resources for the benefit of the family.
Matrimonial property includes matrimonial home(s), household goods, immovable and moveable property jointly owned and acquired during the subsistence of marriage.