Marriage 2.0?

published by: Fabrizia de Wit-Facchetti posted on April 28, 2016 reading time

On 19 April 2016, the Lower House of Parliament debated the bill to limit the community of property in marriages and, with a large majority in the House, approved it. It is expected that the Senate will also agree to the bill and that the law will be amended as early as 1 January 2017. What does this mean now?

What does the new marriage entail? With the coming into force of this Act, a number of things will change considerably. These changes, by the way, only apply to persons who will marry (or enter into a registered partnership) after the coming into force of the Act. In any case, it concerns the following changes:

  • Now (if no prenuptial agreement has been drawn up) one marries in community of property: everything becomes the property of the spouses together through the marriage. The new law will limit this. Everything that belongs to one of the partners before the marriage will remain the property of that partner: it will no longer become joint property when the marriage is contracted. The same applies to debts; for example, a premarital student debt will remain the property of the spouse in question.
  • In the case of gifts and inheritances, it must now be recorded that these will go to only one of the partners. In future, this will be exactly the opposite: only if the testator or donor wants the money to accrue to both spouses, this must be recorded.
  • Due to the changes, more private assets will remain. Private assets often lead to much discussion during a divorce, also in 2016. After all, if it is joint, the two ex-partners have to share it. Even after the change in the law, it will still be the case, as it is now, that only if you cannot prove that it is private wealth, it becomes joint wealth.
  • Moreover, the creditor of one of the spouses can only recover his debt from the private assets of that spouse or from only half of the common assets. If he receives more than half, it has to be paid back immediately to the other spouse.

The new marriage has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the bill is better suited to today's society. A disadvantage, however, is that the spouses will have to keep much better track of their property.

Would you like more information on the bill and what it means for you? Then contact one of our specialists.