Marriage in Community of Property

With due acknowledgement to the Law Society of South Africa

How does it work?

  • Both spouses share equally in the assets and liabilities.
  • Spouses have equal powers of administration and (except for some exceptions) both can act independently.
  • Written consent of both is required for certain important transactions such as those relating to fixed property, suretyship and credit agreements.
  • Informal consent of both is required for transactions such as the selling of goods of the joint household, such as furniture.
  • Consent is not a requirement for transactions relating to trade, business or profession of the spouses.
  • The Act provides for the protection of the spouses should one act to the prejudice of the other.


  • This system rests on a sound principle namely that marriage is a partnership and as such can be conducive to a harmonious marriage relationship.
  • It promotes both legal and economic equality of the spouses. During the marriage and on its dissolution both partners are entitled to a half share in the joint estate and each one has equal powers of administration.


  • Insolvency of one of the spouses affects the total communal property. Where a risk of insolvency exists, it is not a desired system.
  • The system of equal powers could in cases where the temperament of one or both marriage partners is not collaborative, lead to conflict in the marriage.

Please see this article for more detail

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