Navigating Divorce: Understanding the Landmark Constitutional Court Ruling on Asset Redistribution

Divorce can be a tumultuous experience, and the division of assets often adds another layer of complexity to an already challenging time.

In a landmark ruling, the South African Constitutional Court has made a decision that could change the financial outcomes for many divorcing couples.

This blog post delves into the recent case of EB (born S) v ER (born B) and Others and KG v Minister of Home Affairs and Others, shedding light on the implications of the court’s interpretation of Section 7(3) of the Divorce Act 1979.

1. The Turning Point in Divorce Law

The recent Constitutional Court decision represents a significant shift in how assets may be redistributed upon divorce in South Africa.

For couples married out of community of property without accrual, the ruling opens the door to a possible reallocation of assets, provided certain conditions are met.

2. The Criteria for Redistribution

The judgment is clear: asset redistribution is not a given. It requires a demonstration of need for maintenance and proof of direct or indirect contribution to the other spouse’s estate.

The court must weigh various factors, including the length of the marriage and the circumstances leading to its dissolution.

3. The Balancing Act of Justice

The court’s decision underscores the delicate balance between respecting the contractual freedom of an antenuptial agreement and preventing unfair outcomes.

It’s a reminder that while legal documents set the terms, the court retains the power to ensure equity.

4. The Future of Marital Contracts

Looking ahead, those considering an antenuptial contract without accrual need to be mindful of the potential for asset redistribution.

The judgment serves as a cautionary tale for understanding the value of non-financial contributions in a marriage.


The Constitutional Court’s ruling is a pivotal moment for matrimonial law in South Africa. It emphasizes the importance of fair and equitable treatment in divorce proceedings, regardless of the matrimonial property regime chosen.

As the dust settles on this significant decision, it’s clear that anyone entering into a marriage agreement must do so with a full appreciation of the potential long-term implications.

It’s not just a contract; it’s a life choice that requires foresight and understanding. The court has spoken: equity and fairness can, and in certain circumstances, prevail over the strict terms of an agreement.

Make sure to contact your attorneys when considering getting married it is worthwhile to take the time to consult with an attonrey specialising in matrimonial and divorce law to assist you.