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WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 15603
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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good day I need legal advise regarding property. I have

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good day

I need legal advise regarding property.
I have property which I bought in 1995, registered at the Deeds office in my name only. In 1996 I got married in community of property, then got divorced in 2000. The divorce agreement stated that he has no right what so ever to any value of the property, still leaving me as sole owner of the property.
I am now in the process of selling the property, and the attorney dealing with the sale has forwarded me a letter stating than the 50% ownership in my ex-husbands name was never done at the time of the divorce, which was supposed to have been done within 6 months after the divorce. The lawyer that did the divorce never mentioned anything about this to me and was obviously not done. This implies that a valuation of the property has to be done backdated 13 years back, transferring his 50% back into my name. Added to this is, I am now penalized by SARS for 13 years for not doing the transfer within 6 months, leaving me with legal expenses for the amount of approximately R36 000.00.
What I cannot understand is the fact that the property was registered in my name only and is still registered in my name only. We were married in community of property, when we got divorced, he signed the fact that he has not right to the property, surely this is an agreement that he has not right or share of the property, as its an official divorce order? Does this sound correct? Is this standard practice? Could you please advise.
It also needs to be mentioned that my ex-husband in the mean time also passed away in 2009, so he is not even in the picture anymore. Who needs to foot the bill now, can I be held liable for these transfer costs? Where will the transfer take place as the house is in my name only anyway?
I will appreciate a legal answer from you with regard to the above, is this legal, must the property already in my name be transferred to my name again.
Thank you in advance for your assistance in this regard.
Theresa Nieuwenhuizen
Good day.

It is, unfortunately. The Deeds Registries Act says that any transfer of property must follow the normal sequence of events.

When you got married in community of property and failed to exclude the property from the common estate through a prenuptial contract, your husband automatically became half owner of the property. So, that is the first event and the fact that his name was never officially added on the title deed does not matter.

The second event is the divorce, which resulted in the settlement agreement that says that he is not entitled to half of the property and that his half must go to you.

The third event is the sale of the property.

So, what is going to happen (simultaneously, however) is that his name is XXXXX XXXXX be added to the title deed, then his half is going to be transfered back to you and then the transfer to the new owners is going to take place.

Unfortunately, the Deed's Office checks up on all these things before they allow transfer to pass, as does SARS, before they give a transfer duty receipt.

I know that this is probably not the answer that you have hoped for, however, I hope that you can still get some value out of it. I try my best to provide you with a legally sound and accurate answer and sometimes, it is not always good news. If you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively. I do not get anything unless you rate the service.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your reply, but seems so unfair as everything I do, I do according to the book! Now I get this....and it wasnt even my fault!

I just blame the attorney who did the divorce at the time, he should have informed me about it then already and acted accordingly, then the costs would have been much less and things would have been in place, now I am stuck with the mess and expense.

What I now would like to know, someone advised me to lodge a complaint to the Law Society in this regard, they will (could) take the matter up with said attorney who did the divorce and request that the costs be borne by him himself, as he failed to tend to the matter as he should have done legally, which was obviously not done. Did he not know about it, did he not bother to assist, who knows? His customers/clients dont know the law, how was I to know about it? After all, he is the expert, he is the attorney who does divorces, he should advise one accordingly. How many more people are stuck with legal expenses due to his ignorance/poor work and advise. Its really shocking. Should I be able to lodge a complaint, please advise what procedure I should follow, are the forms available on the net, etc.

Thank you for your assistance so far.




I know the situation is a terrible one, but unfortunately there is no way around it.

You can complain at the Law Society about the conduct of the attorney, yes. The procedure on how to make a complaint should be listed on the website of the relevant law society. Since you are in Gauteng, it will probably be
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