5 What are the consequences of divorce/separation?

5.1. How is the property (rights in rem) divided?

The matrimonial property regime is dissolved and one must proceed with the liquidation and division of the matrimonial property. This depends on the applicable matrimonial property regime.

Upon dissolution of the statutory regime, the assets of the common property automatically end up in a “post-community” joint ownership, to which - prior to the liquidation and division - the rules of the general law concerning co-ownership apply (Art. 577-2 CC). For the liquidation and final division of the matrimonial property, the exact composition of the three estates (cf. question 2.1.) must be determined (Art. 1427 - 1449 CC).

Upon dissolution of the universal community of property regime, the assets of the common property also automatically end up in a “post-community” joint ownership.

In the event of dissolution of a regime of separation of property, one merely has to proceed with the liquidation/division of any joint assets.

Within this framework, the Judicial Code provides statutory rules for a (judicial) liquidation/ division (Art. 1205 - 1224 C. Jud. [Code judiciaire = Judicial Code]).

5.2. Who is liable for existing debts after the divorce/separation?

This depends on the nature of the debts. Each spouse is separately liable for his/her own debts which remain after the division of the matrimonial property. The two spouses are jointly liable for the common debts that remain after the division of the matrimonial property (Art. 1439 - 1441 CC).

5.3. Does one spouse have a claim to an equalisation payment?

No, unless the spouses have arranged for such an equalisation claim and its modalities in their marriage contract.