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Customary marriage and a joint bond – what happens when we separate?

Fighting over a home.resize


Hi, hope this e-mail finds you well.

I am in a traditional marriage with a joint bond and we are in the process of separating, however, my partner refuses to sell the house.

Are there options that I can explore? – Tebogo


Hi Tebogo, when parties register a bond in both their names this means that both parties to the agreement are liable, jointly and severally for the full debt. If the relationship between the holders of the joint bond ends the parties have the following options:

1: The parties can sell the property and cancel the bond.

2: If one party chooses not to sell the property that party can apply for a substitution of debtor on the bond and purchase the other parties’ half share in the property.

Want a joint bond? You’ll need a will too

The person who wishes to keep the property and requests substitution of the debtor will have to apply to the bank for the substitution and prove that he will be able to afford the payments. The registration of the substitution and the transfer of the half share in the property will involve payment of attorney’s fees as well as deeds office fees.

The fact that the parties concluded a customary marriage does not change the options they have in this specific situation.

Got a burning question? Email mariette@hometimes.co.za and we’ll be sure to assist

MV Van Der Berg Inc

Who is Sonja du Toit?

Sonja du Toit, director at MC van der Berg Incorporated.

Sonja du Toit, director at MC van der Berg Incorporated.

Sonja du Toit is a director at MC van der Berg Incorporated


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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