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The Constitutional Court of South Africa has ruled THAT people who were married out of community of property can claim assets from their exes when they get divorced.

According to the current section 7(3) of the Divorce Act No. 70 of 1970, spouses married out of community of property can’t claim assets from each other once they get a divorce.

The ruling was based on a case where two divorced women successfully challenged legislation around divorce in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

The court ruled that section 7(3) is constitutionally invalid since it fails to include marriages concluded on or after the start of the Matrimonial Property Act of 1984.

Constitutional Court Judge Owen Rogers said “the redistribution remedy is explicitly focused on recognising a spouse’s contribution to the maintenance or increase in the other spouse’s estate.”

During his ruling, he also said “it is unnecessary, in the case of a redistribution remedy, to find that the conclusion or enforcement of the antenuptial contract would offend public policy.”

News24 reports that the legal remedy will only be available to civil marriages entered into after 1 November 1984.

Image credit: Engelbrecht Attorneys

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