4 Can or must the matrimonial property regime be registered?

4.1. Do one or more matrimonial property registers exist in your country? Where?

In Luxembourg, marriage contracts are made public by filing an extract of the contract in the civil records registry at the public prosecutor's office and making an entry to the file (Articles 1018, 1026, 1126 et seqq. of the New Civil Procedure Code (NCPC)).

A specific regime exists for marriage contracts which provide for the allocation, in case of survival, of all or part of the property comprising the spouses' estate or which derogate from the legal distribution of the community and which are registered with Luxembourg's land registration and estates department (Administration de l’Enregistrement et des Domaines).

Finally, if one of the spouses is a trader or retailer, an extract of the marriage contract must be filed in the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register (Article 1020, paragraph 5 NCPC).

4.2. Which documents are registered? Which information is registered?

The following are also entered in the registers: applications for the separation of property, authentic instruments, rulings on the matrimonial property regime and in particular all amendments thereto (without prejudice to the future liquidation of the pre-existing community, if applicable).

4.3. How and by whom can the information in the register be accessed?

Copies of the extracts held in the civil records registry may be issued to anyone who requests them. Where a deletion indication has been added to the file, copies of the extracts held in the registry may only be issued with the authorisation of the State Public Prosecutor (Article 1129 NCPC). Extracts of the Trade and Companies Register may be consulted directly on site or ordered on-line (www.rcsl.lu).

4.4. What are the legal effects of registration (validity, opposability)?

The legal effects of registration vary depending on whether they relate to the parties themselves or to third parties. Between parties, amendments take effect as from the date of the notarial authentic instrument. For third parties, amendments take effect three months after the registration is made in the file, unless the spouses, when contracting with the third party, informed the latter of the amendments (Article 1397, paragraph 2 CC). However, such amendments are not binding on creditors whose rights were acquired prior to the amendment (Article 1397, paragraph 3 CC).