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CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1538
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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My lady friend and I are considering moving into my house

Customer Question

My lady friend and I are considering moving into my house together after meeting nine months ago. We are both 76 years old and widowed. We both have assets with no liabilities and are retired. Will we be considered in law to be common law husband and wife, and what implications could this have for either of us if one of us dies and we decide to break up ? GM
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  CaseLaw replied 1 year ago.

Hi there and thank you for your question,

There is no such thing as a common law husband and wife in South Africa.

The Supreme Court has held, time and again, that if parties want to enjoy the benefits of a marriage (a legal duty of support to each other) then they need to get married.

If one of you dies, or you break off your relationship, then you would each take away that which you brought into the relationship.

Furthermore, I am of the opinion that you would not be entering into a Universal Partnership, because of the reason that you are both retired. You're not entering into a relationship for the purpose of making a profit, and sharing your income and expenses. You're both retired, therefore no court would hold that you entered into a Universal Partnership. Even if it did, you would then only have a claim against the other person for 50% of the profit that you each made while in the Universal Partnership. And since you're retired ... you're not going to be earning an income, therefore no profit.

Good luck with your relationship moving forwards!

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Please note: This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult a local attorney in person for legal advice. This information is being provided so you can better discuss legal matters with your attorney.

Expert:  CaseLaw replied 1 year ago.
Hi there again,
I hope that you understood the above advice and that it was useful? Please leave positive feedback for me.
If you have a further question please ask it?

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