Proprietary relations of spouses

Prospective spouses can agree on a suitable property relationship before entering into the contract of marriage. When submitting an application for marriage (pdf, 129 KB), you can choose if the following applies to you:

  • jointness of property, which binds the spouses financially very tightly together.
  • set-off of assets increment, which gives the spouses larger financial independence but maintains clear guarantees for the spouse that is financially weaker.
  • separateness of property, which means that in terms of property, you are completely independent from each other as spouses.

The fourth option to determine your proprietary relations is to sign a marital property contract.

If the prospective spouses do not select a proprietary relationship by an application for marriage and do not enter into a marital property contract, the provisions regarding jointness of property shall apply to their proprietary relations as of the contraction of marriage.

A marital property contract

A marital property contract entered into before marriage enters into force on the day on which the marriage was finalized. A marital property contract is entered into at a notary either before or during marriage. The marital property contract may be amended by agreement between the spouses, or the parties may enter into a new agreement. The marital property contract is entered into the marital property contract register on request of a spouse.

The marital property contract determines what property will remain separate property, and how joint property is to be disposed of and, if necessary, divided. Under the marital property contract, joint property may not include property received by the spouse by way of a gift or inheritance. Nor may the marital property contract deprive a spouse or divorcee of the right to receive financial support or alimony or cede the right to divide joint property upon the termination of the marriage. The marital property contact expires at the end of a marriage, upon entering into a new marital property contract or upon termination of a property relationship in a court.

Last amended: 18-06-2017 00:00 | Compiled by: Ministry of Justice