Former Mrs South Africa Jo-Ann Joy Barnwell and her husband, Steven Carlo Barnwell, have filed papers in the Joburg High Court to dissolve their in community of property marriage and separate their joint estate.
The joint estate includes a property that they bought with a R1-million loan they obtained from Absa.
In the papers, which are in our possession, the couple said they were married in community of property in Umhlanga Rocks on June 06 2015.
Umhlanga Rocks is one of the top beach holiday destinations in South Africa. It is situated in the resort town north of Durban on the coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
The couple added that they now want the court to grant them an order to change their marriage to out of community of property with the exclusion of accrual system.
They also want the order to authorise them to enter into a notarial contract.
In her founding affidavit Jo-Ann Joy, who is the first applicant in the case, said that Steven, who is the second applicant, was a businessman and therefore he has the capacity to acquire liabilities and prejudice her.
She also said her husband’s high debt exposure will prejudice the joint estate and put their future children at risk.
“I believe the separation of the joint estate will provide the second applicant and I the freedom to enter into any business transactions without the risk being transferred to the second applicant or myself,” she said, adding that changing their marriage status will be beneficial to both their marital and business
relationships. She said in the notarial contract, they would each retain their assets and none of them would be answerable for the debts of the other, adding that they would each be answerable for the debts they contracted before and after the notarial contract.
They also said the registration of the notarial marriage would not prejudice creditors as they would involve them in the deregistration of their community of property marriage.
Steven declined to comment.