Allen West Conveyancing Update

INTRODUCTION 

A “civil union”, in terms of section 1 of the Act, means “the voluntary union of two persons who are both 18 years of age or older, which is solemnised and registered by way of either a marriage or a civil partnership, in accordance with the procedures prescribed in this Act, to the exclusion, while it lasts, of all others”. 

And 

A “civil union partner”, means “a spouse in a marriage or a partner in a civil partnership, as the case may be, concluded in terms of this Act”. 

LEGAL CONSEQUENCES OF A CIVIL UNION 

The legal consequences of a marriage contemplated in the Marriage Act No. 25 of 1961 apply, with such changes as may be required by the context, to a civil union (section13 (1) of the Act). 

With the exception of the Marriage Act, 1961 and the Customary Marriages Act No. 120 of 1998, any reference to – 

a) marriage in any other law, including the common law, includes, with such changes as may be required by the context, a civil union, and 

b) Husband, wife or spouse or any other law, including the common law, includes a civil union partner (section 13(2) of the Act). 

IMPACT OF PROVISIONS OF THE ACT ON THE DEEDS REGISTRATION PROCEDURES 

The Act does not have any impact on the deeds registration procedures. All the provisions of the Deeds Registries Act No. 47 of 1937 and the Sectional Titles Act No. 95 of 1986 can therefore be applied to civil unions and civil union partners. 

The Act does also not have any impact on the Matrimonial Property Act No. 88 of 1984. The provisions of the Matrimonial Property Act, 1984 are therefore applicable in exactly the same manner to the matrimonial property system of persons joined in a civil union, as it is applicable to the matrimonial property system of persons married in terms of the Marriage Act, 1961. 

In view of the above-mentioned the following must be noted with regard to registration procedures in a deeds registry: 

  • All the provisions of the Deeds Registries Act No. 47 of 1937 and the Sectional Titles Act No. 95 of 1986 are applicable to civil unions and civil union partners; 
  • The same practices and procedures applicable to persons married in community/out of community of property in terms of the Marriage Act, 1961, are applicable to partners in a civil union (i.e. vesting of property). 
  • However, where a civil partnership instead of a marriage, as referred to in the definition of ‘civil union’ in section 1 of the Act, is registered, the parties must be described as follows: 

-in instances where no antenuptial contract has been registered: 

ABC 

Identity Number………………….. 

and 

XYZ 

Identity Number………………….. 

Partners in a civil partnership in community of property registered in terms of the Civil Union Act No. 17 of 2006 

-in instances where an antenuptial contract has been registered:

ABC 

Identity Number………………….. 

Partner in a civil partnership out of community of property registered in terms of the Civil Union Act No. 17 of 2006 

The same practices and procedures applicable to the registration of antenuptial contracts of persons married in terms of the Marriage Act, 1961, apply to the registration of antenuptial contract of persons joined in a civil union; 

and 

The same practices and procedures applicable to the lodgement of marriage certificates and divorce orders of persons married in terms of the Marriage Act, 1961, apply to persons joined in a civil union. 

Should you require more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Allen West
TONKIN CLACEY PRETORIA 
012 346 1278

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