Fact Sheet 3: The statutory matrimonial property regime (in the absence of a marriage contract)

Introduction

The following comparative tables concern member countries of the LEXUNION network (Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, United Kingdom).

The first table identifies the statutory matrimonial property regime applicable to heterosexual or homosexual couples in each country. In other words, these are the rules that govern property relations within a couple where there is no marriage contract. This first table also sets out the possible alternatives.

The second table gives a brief overview of the main characteristics of the statutory matrimonial property regime in each of the countries, as well as the rules applicable to the division of property when the matrimonial regime is dissolved, either in the event of the death of one of the parties, through divorce or where the regime is changed following the signing of a marriage contract.

Aim of this Fact Sheet

This Fact Sheet No. 3 (2022) therefore aims to present an overview of the various matrimonial property regimes applicable in the absence of a marriage contract in all member countries of the LEXUNION network.
The next fact sheets will present the conventional matrimonial property regimes in those countries and then the rules applicable in an international context, in order to clearly set out the set of choices available to spouses.

By reference to these three Fact Sheets, you will be able to:

  • Gain an overview of the various matrimonial property regimes;
  • Understand the possible implications of signing a (new) marriage contract, for example spousal protection or estate planning;
  • Understand the options offered by EU Regulations 2016/1103 and 1104 on the choice of law applicable to matrimonial or property regimes, in an international context.

Please consult the professionals in the LEXUNION network who will look at your particular situation and advise you on the issues concerned and opportunities available to you.

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