1 Which law applies?

1.1. Which law is applicable to a couple´s property? Which criteria/rules are used to determine the applicable law? Which international conventions have to be respected with regard to certain countries?

If the spouses have not agreed otherwise, the law of the country which became the domicile of both spouses after marriage is applied to the spouses' property relations. If the domicile of the spouses has been transferred to another country later on, the law of that country is applied, if the spouses have lived there for at least five years. The law of the country in question will, however, be applied immediately after the change of domicile, if the spouses have had a domicile in that country earlier on during their marriage, or if both are citizens of that country. However, the law applied to the spouses' property relations does not change when the domicile of the spouses is transferred to another country later on, if the spouses or betrotheds have determined the law to be applied to their property relations by contract; or, due to the dissolution of the marriage, separation or pending divorce proceedings, a spouse has gained the right to demand a division of the marital property before the time when the law of the other country would become applicable. If the spouses do not have a domicile in the same country, the law of the country to which they have, all things considered, the closest connection will be applied to their property relations (§ 129 Marriage Act). Besides that, the Nordic Convention between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden comprises almost identical conflict of laws provisions on marriage, adoption and guardianship and is applicable when both spouses are citizens of a contracting state at the time of marriage and then establish their domicile in a contracting state.

1.2. Do the spouses have the option of choosing the applicable law? If so, by which principles is this choice governed (e.g. the laws to be chosen, formal requirements, retro-activity)?

Betrotheds and spouses are entitled to determine the law to be applied to their property relations by agreement. The agreement is to be made in writing for it to be valid. The law of the country in which a spouse has his/her domicile, or whose citizen a spouse is at the time the agreement is made, can be determined as the law to be applied to the spouses' property relations. If the domicile of one or both spouses has been transferred to another country during the marriage, also the law of the country in which both spouses last were domiciled at the same time can be selected as the law to be applied. An agreement over an amendment or a cancellation of the agreement on the choice of law is to be made in writing for it to be valid (§ 130 Marriage Act).