Question posted in the Property Law category relating to Gauteng
Trust you are well.
Question- Am I going to walk away with nothing after 6 years with him if I do decide to leave?
In April 2021 we registered a property in both our names. The bond however is in his name, I believe it was because he is a business owner.
Bond- R1 549 000,00
As of June 2023- Outstanding R1 469 619,46.
As of June 2023- Paid off R 79 380 ,54.
We started dating in June 2017, he was still married at the time. I had been living on my own in a rental with my own furniture etc.
Nov 2019 he moved in with me after his now ex-wife filed for divorce.
2020 we found a rental property and both signed the lease.
The divorce was finalized in feb 2021.
April 2021 we became home owners.
July 2022 we got engaged.
As of March 2023 I am no longer employed while I study. He had agreed and offered to cover our finances while I study. Debits in my name for us are less than R8000 a month and are maintly things for both of us eg.Medical Aid, home content insurance, One drive, Spotify etc.
Thank you for your time.
Message from the Lawyer
Hi there and thank you for your question,
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Do you know how you are married? --> (i) In community of property, or (ii) out of community of property, or (iii) out of community of property with the accrual.
Message from the client
Thank you for your response.
We are not married, as of July 2023 we are only engaged.
Message from the Lawyer
If you are not married to him, and if you are only engaged, then you only have the legal right to your own stuff. You do not have a right to claim any of his assets, like you would if you were married.
As such, if you do decide to leave him, then you would leave the relationship with your own assets. You would have a claim for 1/2 of any asset which you bought together.
This would include 1/2 of the value of the house because the two of you bought it and it is registered in both of your names. I say the value of the house, because you must deduct the outstanding loan from the purchase price, to work out the value of the equity in the house.
If the current market value of the house is R1.7m (I'm guessing here) and the outstanding bond is currently R1.469m, then there would be R231,000 of equity in the property, and you would be entitled to 1/2 of that.
The fact that he might have been paying the bond each month, would be similar to you paying your guys monthly expenses. That was just the agreement between the two of you. So it would be unfair if he said that you can't share in the R231,000 because he was paying the bond. Why then were you paying the monthly debit orders then!
So, in my opinion, you would be entitled to (i) half of the value of the house and also (ii) half of the value of all the things that you bought together and also (iii) all of your own stuff.
Unfortunately, you wouldn't have any other claim against him.