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?

The spouses' common personal law at the time of the consideration governs the spouses' property relations (including the maintenance obligations and the marriage contracts). A person's personal law is the law of the state that he/she is a citizen of. If a person has multiple citizenship, and one of them is Hungarian citizenship, his/her personal law is Hungarian law. If a person is a citizen of multiple countries other than Hungary or he/she is stateless, his/her personal law is the law of the state where he/she has a domicile (the domicile is the place where a person is living permanently or with the intention of the establishment; Art. 12 (1) Decree-Law No. 13 of 1979 on Private International Law [hereinafter: IPLD]). If a person has a domicile also in Hungary, his/her personal law is Hungarian law. If a person has domiciles only in multiple foreign countries, his/her personal law is the law of the country with which he/she has the strongest ties. If a person's personal law cannot be determined according to the paragraphs above, and he/she has no domicile, his/her law is determined by his/her usual place of residence (the usual place of residence is the place where a person is staying for a longer period without the intention of establishment; Art. 12 (2) IPLD). If a person has multiple usual places of residence, and one of those is in Hungary, his/her personal law is Hungarian law.

If the spouses' personal law is different at the time of the consideration, their last common personal law will be applied. If that does not exist or cannot be determined, the law of the country where they had their last common domicile should be applied. If the spouses did not have a common domicile, the national law of the proceeding court or other authority should be applied. A change in the personal law of either of the spouses does not affect the property relations (including the maintenance obligations and the marriage contracts) already established between them.

(Art. 11; Art. 39 (1)-(4) IPLD)

Hungary has legal assistance treaties which are also relevant for the determination of the applicable law with the following countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Romania and Vietnam.

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)?

Hungarian law does not allow the spouses to choose the applicable law.