Consumer Information

Author: Annetjie Coetsee
5 October 2021

Civil Unions

Since the implementation of the Civil Unions Act 17 of 2006, Property Practitioners should familiarize themselves with the property-related aspects arising from the Act.

The different forms of civil unions (which can be male/female or same-sex) require individuals, especially property practitioners, to understand the specifics pertaining to signature of the Offer to Purchase.

Civil partnerships will fall under the Matrimonial Property Act with partners having the choice of being married in community of property or out of community of property with or without accrual.

What is a Civil Union?
A “civil union” is defined as “the voluntary union of two persons who are both 18 years of age or older, which is solemnized and registered by way of either a marriage or a civil partnership…“.

USEFUL TIPS WHEN PARTIES ARE SIGNING THE OFFER TO PURCHASE (OTP)

MARRIED OUT OF COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY (CIVIL UNIONS INCLUDED)

  • Only the spouse who is selling or buying a property must sign the OTP.
  • If both spouses own the property and want to sell, then both of them must sign the OTP.
  • If both spouses want to buy the property then both of them must sign the OTP.

MARRIED IN COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY (CIVIL UNIONS INCLUDED)

  • Always let both spouses sign the offer to purchase, whether selling or buying.

From a legal perspective, there is really no difference between parties to a civil union and persons married in terms of the Marriage Act. Both enjoy all the rights, protections, and consequences of marriage.

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