How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Elizabeth Steenhuisen Your Own Question

Elizabeth Steenhuisen
Elizabeth Steenhuisen, Lawyer
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 26
Experience:  I have been teaching law to students, candidate attorneys and junior advocates, and practicing Family and Divorce Law since 1984.
72467609
Type Your South Africa Law Question Here...
Elizabeth Steenhuisen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am an italian citizen, married in Italy with a South African

Resolved Question:

I am an italian citizen, married in Italy with a South African lady. We opted for "Separazione dei beni" (meaning out of community of properties without accrual). We are resident in Dubai. We would need to register the marriage in South Africa, and we would like to make sure that the 'out of community of properties without accrual' is properly registered and valid in South Africa. How can we do it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  Elizabeth Steenhuisen replied 1 year ago.

Elizabeth Steenhuisen :

Dear Customer, if you have time, I'll find out and let you know by Sunday morning, 4 August. I'll check for your response by 2pm today. Keep well! ES

Elizabeth Steenhuisen :

Hi - can you tell me when you got married and do you have a formal written contract of "separazione dei beni"? ES

Customer:

Elizabeth,

Customer:

I got married in June 2013, and the 'separazione dei beni' is a clause/note included in the marriage certificate. I got a multilingual certificate (that includes the note) with a postille (referring to La Haye convention 1961), that they told me I can use this to register my marriage in South Africa - only concern is that the postille/note on such certificate is hand-written on the certificate in Italian, not translated. Not sure they will report it as 'out of community of properties without accrual'.

Elizabeth Steenhuisen :

Answer:


Dear Customer,


Thank you for your answer.


In general people like you have to remember that the way you got married will be recognised anywhere in the world according to International Private Law. The rule is that the law of the place (country) where the husband lives permanently at the time of the marriage determines the type of marital regime. If the two of you chose it to be "Separazione dei beni", it will stand as such. If the law of Italy required from the two of you a written and registered ante-nuptial contract, and you had done so, everything is in order. However, from your answer, it seems to me that your certificate is qualified with the note and pastille. Did you have to comply with any other requirements in Italy, like formal registration of the contract?


Just to give you background: in SA if people do not complete and register an ante-nuptial contract before the wedding, they are considered to be married in community of property – that is the standard. In the UK, people are automatically married out of community of property, without any conclusion or registration of a written contract. This comes down to the fact that each country has its standard marital regime, requiring no specific actions of the two people getting married.


It seems to me that in Italy, no specific contract is required as the marriage officer makes a note and pastille on and to the certificate. Correct me if I am wrong.


To register the contract post-nuptially in South Africa as well, it would require a full and lengthy application to Court to order the deeds office to register it. One will have to attach the certificate (a duly certified copy as the original will be showed by the advocate to the judge). One can have the note in Italian translated by an official Italian translator in SA, which will also be attached.


Seemingly you two complied with the laws of Italy regarding the "Separazione dei beni” marital regime - is there any specific reason why you require registration in SA?


If you would like to continue with the registration, I can give you the details of a very experienced attorney, being a notary public. I f so, do that before you have any creditors in SA as the application has to be served on each creditor and also has to be published. Any which way, it is an expensive application.


Please let me know.


Kind regards

Customer:

Elizabeth,

Customer:

In Italy you don't need a contract - actually ante nuptial contracts as such are not valid by italian law. In Italy you can simply choose the day of the wedding your regime: community of properties ('comunione dei beni') or out of community of properties ('separazione dei beni'). Therefore by Italian law we are fine. I have two concerns:

Customer:

1) We are living and resident in Dubai (already when we got married) - does it mean that my domicile was UAE and the UAE law applies, even if we got married in Italy, in the municipality of Rome?

Customer:

2) She needs to change her marital status in South Africa - it seems Home Affairs requires a certificate with pastille (Le Haye convention). Once I submit this certificate, I want to be sure that the 'out of community of properties' is properly registered and not 'lost in translation' - how can I do it? Do I need a legal firm to help me?

Customer:

Thanks, Mirko

Elizabeth Steenhuisen :

Hi Mirko,

Elizabeth Steenhuisen :

To your Question 1: If you are and have been just living temporarily in the UAE, regarding Italy as your permanent home and country until you decide where you want to settle permanently, the answer is ITALY. I suppose you have only a work permit for the UAE and are not a permanent resident there.

Elizabeth Steenhuisen :

To your Question 2: Get a sworn translator to translate the whole certificate, or only the section written in Italian. Discuss it with the translator. If you do not find one in the UAE or back in Italy, you can find one in SA. Google it. I suggest once you are in SA, contact a lawyer, to discuss all implications. I give you the detail of Hymie Chaitowitz,XXX@XXXXXX.XXX, who is very experienced and who will be able to assist you. I expect that drafting a complete ANC and do an application to court to have it registered, is the safest option. The reason why I say s, is that when there is a divorce, our courts will require a written ANC. Secondly, it is very good to specify specific assets, either in existence or which may/will be obtained

Elizabeth Steenhuisen :

It safeguards both you and your wife. I hope this has directed you and your wife to know what your options are. You are welcome to email Mr. Chaitowitz in the meantime. Good luck and if there is anything else, let me know. ES

Customer:

Thank you

Customer:

On point #2: can you do an ANC and register it to court even if we are already married (although if in Italy)?

Customer:

Will take Mr. Chaitowitz into consideration - is he based in Cape Town? That's where we typically spend our time in SA

Customer:

Thanks again

Elizabeth Steenhuisen :

Hi Mirko,

Elizabeth Steenhuisen :

Yes, you may but with the consent of the court. Many people do that or even change their status around.

Elizabeth Steenhuisen :

I am sure Mr. Chaitowitz will be able to take your case and get an advocate in the Cape to bring the application. Rather discuss it with him. If there is nothing else, please rate my service. I enjoyed your case and I have learnt something about the marital law of Italy!! Bellissima! ES

Elizabeth Steenhuisen, Lawyer
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 26
Experience: I have been teaching law to students, candidate attorneys and junior advocates, and practicing Family and Divorce Law since 1984.
Elizabeth Steenhuisen and other South Africa Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • PHINEAS MOTAUNG

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    113
    BACHELOR OF LAWS
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/tumi65/2009-12-28_9197_BABA_I_FRIENDS_013.jpg PHINEAS MOTAUNG's Avatar

    PHINEAS MOTAUNG

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    113
    BACHELOR OF LAWS
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/emil102/2010-05-04_160842_IMG000806.jpg Emil's Avatar

    Emil

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    33
    BCom Law LLB, 3 years post article experience as attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Lurine/2010-10-04_101308_LCP.jpg LCP's Avatar

    LCP

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    21
    BCom (Stell) LLB LLM
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KimGAtt/2009-11-04_164526_Profile.JPG K. Groenewald's Avatar

    K. Groenewald

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    19
    LLB (Pret). Extensive litigation experience in general civil & family law matters. Debt Counsellor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SA/SATOPLAW/2013-9-13_13566_IMG20130304WA000.64x64.jpg Shaie Zindel's Avatar

    Shaie Zindel

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1052
    All areas of commercial and contract Law - specialist in property advice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/inciteadvisor/2013-9-5_193316_incitead.64x64.jpg inciteadvisor's Avatar

    inciteadvisor

    Commercial Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    814
    B.Com LLB Registered Corporate lawywer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/AntonSmith13/2013-2-21_17147_Snapshot.64x64.png AntonSmith13's Avatar

    AntonSmith13

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    45
    LLB, LLM, Cert. International Law Attorney with 12 years experience
 
 
 

Related South Africa Law Questions