The effect of modern constitutional development on marriages in community of property
The study commences with a brief overview of the history of marriage and specifically of marriage in community of property with reference to marital power. The unique ex lege consequences of marriage in community of property is comprehensively discussed. The Constitutional Court decision in Harksen v Lane determined the test for unconstitutionality. The test for unconstitutionality is discussed with specific reference to the Bill of Rights. The Constitutional Court's decision in Volks v Robinson is critically evaluated as the Court propounded the so-called "choice argument" in terms of which people purposefully decide to marry instead of cohabiting and therefore the law may accord certain benefits to married people which are not available to unmarried life partners. The Constitutional Court decisions in Van der Merwe v RAF as well as its consequences are discussed. It concluded that section 18(b) of the Matrimonial Property Act constituted unjustifiable discrimination between spouses married in community of property and those married out of community of property and the said section was therefore declared unconstitutional. The law of insolvency in respect of the joint estate of spouses married in community of property is investigated. Freedom of testation and case law relating thereto is considered briefly. The study concludes with the submission that the common law provision that separate assets of a spouse in a marriage in community of property form part of the joint insolvent estate even if a testator expressly determined in his will that a bequest will not form part of the joint estate of a beneficiary, amounts to unfair discrimination and is unconstitutional. t is submitted that the principle unfairly discriminates between spouses married in community of property and those married out of community of property on the ground of marital status.
- Law 
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