It is a written contract between a couple which defines and controls their property relations. It must be in writing and should undergo the appropriate authorization according to the status of the couple to be fully effective. The Spouses’ Property Relations Act of 1973 states that a property relations agreement between married couples must receive authorization at the family court or a religious court in order for it to be binding. In contrast, a property relations agreement between a cohabiting couple does not have to be authorized court, although this is preferable and recommended. If it does not receive court authorization, it will have the same legal status as any written agreement, according to contract law.
A premarital agreement between couples intending to marry that covers property can be authorized by a notary or marriage registrar instead of by court, but court authorization is recommended.
Once duly authorized the agreement will apply instead of the law governing property relations between couples of that status . It is often advantageous to have such an agreement to avoid certain situations that could arise if the couple split up or one of them dies .
A property relations agreement is particularly useful for :
- young couples marrying for the first time before marriage
- widows/widowers/divorcees wanting to co-habit with someone or get married again and they are concerned about protecting their property interests or those of their children or grandchildren.