3 How can the spouses arrange their property regime?

3.1. Which provisions can be modified by a contract and which cannot? Which matrimonial property regimes may be chosen?

Spouses shall have a right to stipulate in a marriage contract that:

  • property acquired both before and during the marriage shall be the personal property of each spouse;
  • personal property acquired by a spouse before the marriage shall become community property after the registration of the marriage;
  • property acquired during the marriage shall be partially divided community property (Art. 3.104(1) of the CC).

In their marriage contract the spouses may stipulate that one of these matrimonial property regimes shall be applied to their entire property or only to a certain part or to specific chattels (Art. 3.104(2) of the CC).

In their marriage contract the spouses may determine a matrimonial property regime both in respect of their existing and future property (Art. 3.104(3) of the CC).

A marriage contract may contain the stipulation of rights and duties related to the management of property, mutual maintenance, participation in the provision for family needs and expenses as well as the procedure for the division of property in case of divorce and other matters related to the spouses' mutual property relations (Art. 3.104(4) of the CC).

3.2. What are the formal requirements and who should I contact?

A marriage contract must be entered into before a civil law notary and registered in the Register of Marriage Contracts (see under 4.) (Art. 3.103 of the CC).

3.3. When may the contract be concluded and when does it come into effect?

A marriage contract may be made before the registration of the marriage (pre-nuptial contract) or at any time after the registration of the marriage (post-nuptial contract). A marriage contract made before the registration of the marriage shall come into effect on the day of the registration of the marriage. A post-nuptial contract shall come into force on the date on which it is made unless the agreement stipulates otherwise (Art. 3.102 of the CC).

3.4. May an existing contract be modified by the spouses? If so, under what conditions?

A marriage contract may be amended or terminated by the mutual agreement of the spouses at any time before a civil law notary, with authorization by the court (Art. 3.103(2), Art. 3.106(1) of the CC).