Divorce orders and immovable property

Private Property South Africa
Steyn and Steyn

Numerous Court Orders are being granted daily merely stating “Division of the Joint Estate”. The consequence of this order is that the property must be sold and the proceeds divided between the parties, alternatively one of the parties must purchase the other party’s half share in the property.

This vague order has left various parties frustrated with their previous spouses, who neither want to sell the property, nor purchase the ex-spouse’s half share, leaving the occupying spouse in occupation of the property at the expense of the other spouse.

It is for this reason that of utmost importance that the settlement agreement must inter alia, stipulate when the property should be sold, who are allowed to remain in occupation, when the occupying party should vacate the property and who will be liable for the costs relating thereto.

It is common practise that the party who obtain the half share interest in the property pay the costs relating thereto, however the parties can agree to a different arrangement regarding costs. The transfer cost in this instance is significantly lower than the amount paid in normal transfer.

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