If you marry or enter into a registered partnership without reaching any additional agreements, the assets of both parties will become joint property. This means that you acquire the rights to half of the assets (and the debts) of your partner, and vice versa. To avoid this, you can have a marriage settlement or a partnership agreement drawn up.


If you consider a community of property too far-reaching, you can reach other agreements with your partner. You can for example agree that your assets and those of your partner will remain entirely separate or that only a specified share of your assets will become community property. You can also agree that mutual rights will only be established if the marriage ends upon the death of one of the partners. In principle, any variation on the above is possible.


It is not unusual for people to have drawn up a marriage settlement years ago, and since that time to have paid no further attention to the agreements. This can have far-reaching consequences that are diametrically opposed to the original intention upon the drawing up of the marriage settlement. It is therefore worthwhile to regularly have your marriage settlement evaluated, to determine whether adjustments are necessary and whether the agreements reached still represent your wishes.

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