In terms of Section 87 of the Deeds Registries Act, No 47 of 1937, an Antenuptial Contract executed in South Africa shall be registered in the Deeds Registry within three months after the date of its execution or within such extended period as the court may on application allow. (My emphasis)
87 Manner and time of registration of antenuptial contracts
(1) An antenuptial contract executed in the Republic shall be attested by a notary and shall be registered in a deeds registry within three months after the date of its execution or within such extended period as the court may on application allow.
(2) An antenuptial contract executed outside the Republic shall be attested by a notary or otherwise be entered into in accordance with the law of the place of its execution, and shall be registered in a deeds registry within six months after the date of its execution or within such extended period as the court may on application allow.
Whilst acknowledging the powers the courts have in terms of this section, a very interesting question to be posed it whether the legislature intended this extended period which the court can grant for registration to be open ended. Although from the Deeds Office perspective this does not have a big effect, I wonder if this in practice cannot pose problems for spouses.
Adv Audrey Gwangwa
I would say within a time reasonable under the circumstances provided there is a plausible and valid explanation of the delay and that there is no intention to prejudice a party or a creditor, nor could late registration so prejudice anyone. Inter partes / spouses, the contractual benefits and obligations would remain, again for a time reasonable under the circumstances, with an eye on prescription!
The interesting point is that there does not seem to be time limit within which the parties to an Antenuptial contract are to get married.
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