In today’s world, finding a life partner has become a complex and often confusing process, especially in South Africa. With individual needs and lifestyles constantly changing, it can be challenging to ensure that both partners are on the same page when it comes to expectations, responsibilities, and future plans. This is where a life partner contract comes into play.
A life partner contract is a legal agreement between two individuals in a committed relationship who are not married, providing clarity and structure to their relationship. The contract enables partners to define their expectations, obligations, and responsibilities towards each other as well as any children they may have.
In South Africa, the Domestic Partnership Bill of 2008 was proposed to provide legal recognition and protection for domestic partners, but it has not yet been enacted. As a result, couples in South Africa who wish to enter into a life partner contract are advised to consult with an attorney who is well-versed in family law to draft an agreement that would hold up in court.
So, what should be included in a life partner contract?
1. Financial matters: Partners should discuss how they will contribute to household expenses, the division of assets and liabilities, and how they plan to provide for each other in the event of illness or death.
2. Legal matters: Partners should consider how they wish their assets to be distributed in the event of death, who they would like to appoint as executors of their estates, and how they would like to give each other legal authority in certain circumstances, such as medical emergencies.
3. Children: Partners should agree on how they will raise and support any children they have together, as well as what will happen in the event of a breakup or death.
4. Living arrangements: Partners should discuss where they will live and whether they will buy or rent a home. They should also agree on how household chores will be divided.
Creating a life partner contract is an opportunity for partners to be honest and transparent with each other about their expectations and needs. Ultimately, it will provide peace of mind and clarity to both partners, strengthening their relationship and providing a foundation for a successful future together.