Individuals attempting to conceal their assets from their spouses in order to avoid sharing them upon divorce will be unsuccessful under South African law.

Achraf Hakimi, a European footballer for the French football team PSG, has received some criticism on social media for reportedly blindsiding his wife by moving his riches into his mother’s name, forcing his wife to walk out the marriage empty-handed.

Nevertheless, this is not allowed in South Africa and many other nations, particularly when married in community of property.

There are three marital regimes in South African family law: in community of property, out of community of property, and out of community of property with the accrual system.

This implies that if a couple marries outside of community property, any spouse can do whatever they want with their assets, according to divorce attorney Jessica Pyper.

“You can’t do what you want when you’re married in community of property – you need your spouse’s approval.”

Should a person dispose of their assets without permission?

The disadvantaged spouse may petition the court to determine how the remaining assets should be divided.

“For example, the wife cannot approach the court for an injunction to recover such assets because they have already been taken.” What may be done under the Divorce Act and the Marital Property Act is to have the court decide how the estate will be divided. “He [the spouse] may lose his claim to [his wife’s] 50% share,” she explained.

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Individuals married outside of community of property with accrual function in the same way as those married in community of property. This is due to the fact that assets and estate accumulated throughout the marriage are assessed and divided proportionately following the divorce.

Nevertheless, if a person transfers assets to their mother before the pair met or married under community of property, such assets are not included in the joint estate.

According to divorce attorney Simon Dippenaar of Simon Dippenaar and Associates, the outcome for those assets is determined by the facts of the transfer and the assets involved.

“As a result, because those assets are not part of the joint estate, the wife normally cannot claim them during the marriage or in a divorce.” “The exact circumstances of the asset transfer, as well as the type of the assets, might alter their treatment throughout marriage and divorce,” he stated.

Nonetheless, transferring assets with the intent of deceiving a spouse or a creditor is considered fraudulent and is void.

According to Pyper, the only method to avoid sharing the money upon divorcing is to change the marital regime during the marriage.

“You must demonstrate to the court and the creditors that this new marriage arrangement will benefit both of you.” Creditors must be identified so that debt collectors know who to contact. If your creditor objects to the application, the procedure will be prolonged.”

According to Dippenaar, if the footballer’s divorce drama is real, his wife Hiba’s claim to his inheritance may be restricted or non-existent if Hakimi registered them in his mother’s name.

“The marital regime of the couple is critical in assessing Hiba’s claim, because the legal position may change under French or Moroccan law according to their nationality and marital status.”

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By J Times

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