A client who was married in community of property, wanted to know why the proceeds of their sale, were not paid to him exclusively, in his capacity as the husband, on behalf of marriage in community of property? He obviously had done some research and had noted that if the property had previously been registered in both names, being married to each other in community of property; then surely it was wrong to pay half the proceeds to the husband and half the proceeds to the wife? He believed that by virtue of his marital power in the marriage, everything accruing to the marriage, should have been paid into his own bank account; on behalf of the marriage.
We advised that ever since The Matrimonial Property Affairs Act came into force in 1984, everything changed. There were 2 significant changes: the marital power which one spouse had over the other, was abolished and secondly, either party in the marriage was now allowed to contract independently, without the consent of the other.
Ever since then, the banks have encouraged all married people, regardless of their marital regime, to operate separate and independent bank accounts in their own names. The banks wish to avoid the situation whereby both salaries are paid into the account of the husband who subsequently dies; resulting in that single bank account in the name of the marriage being frozen, leaving the spouse without any money to pay any future bills. So it has become de rigueur for all married people, regardless of their marital regimes, to operate separate and personal bank accounts.
Denoon Sampson is the Director at Denoon Sampson Ndlovu Inc, currently ranked the ‘number 1’ top performing conveyancer by First National Bank Limited. He has 30 years of experience as a conveyancer, specialising in the full spectrum of property-related law and is often called upon to give talks or contribute content on related matters.