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?

According to the current Marriage and Family Relations Act, the spouses may not stipulate a matrimonial property regime different from the statutory community of property regime. Any agreement that determines the shares in the common property of each spouse in advance or contract by which a spouse renounces his/her share is void. The spouses may use an agreement only to determine that (parts of) their separate property shall belong to the common property; they may not stipulate that (parts of) the common property shall belong to a spouse’s separate property. They may agree to divide the common property existing at the time the agreement is concluded, but this agreement may not cover future acquisitions. Otherwise, the spouses may conclude between them the same legal transactions as they may conclude with third parties and may thereby establish the same rights and obligations. For a legal transaction between spouses to be valid, it must take the form of a notarial authentic instrument.

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

An admissible agreement between spouses and all of its amendments must take the form of a notarial authentic instrument.

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

Agreements stipulating that separate property shall belong to the common property may only be concluded during the marriage.

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

If, by agreement, separate property has been declared to be part of the common property, this is not reversible until the division of the common property takes place.