As lawyers specializing in family law, we want to dedicate this post to reviewing a series of matters to consider before taking the step of getting married, with a special emphasis on the topic of marital agreements.
The first thing we must understand is that a marital union can be formalized under the separate property system or the profit-sharing property system. In the first system, each of the spouses keeps the property they had before getting married as their own, in addition to the property they acquire during the marriage. At ICN LEGAL, we remind you that this means that each spouse has the right to use and enjoy their property, and they can even sell it, rent it or give it away without the other spouse having to give their consent. In any case, each spouse must contribute to cover the costs of married life. According to the Civil Code, this will be done based on the respective financial resources of each spouse.
It is also important to keep in mind that the separate property system only applies if the spouses expressly agree to it, so it must be stated in the marital agreement.
However, when a couple marries under the profit-sharing property system, each spouse can take part in the profits that the other spouse acquires throughout the marriage. This system entails each spouse being responsible for the management, enjoyment and free disposal of the property that belongs to them when the profit-sharing property system begins, as well as property acquired during the marriage, including donations or inheritances. For example, if some asset or right is acquired with the spouse, it will belong to both parties. When the profit-sharing property system is terminated, profits are calculated by considering the difference between the initial and final property of each spouse.
A marital agreement is a contract that establishes the rules governing a married couple’s financial relations. As we mentioned, the couple can choose between a profit-sharing property system or a separate property system.
Marital agreements are made before a notary and recorded in a public document: a deed. It must then be registered with the Civil Registry Office, either before or after getting married.
The chosen property system goes into effect following the wedding, which must be celebrated within a year of signing the marita agreement.
Finally, we must keep in mind that it is possible to change the marital property system before a notary at any time. If you’re about to get married or are already married, don’t hesitate to contact ICN LEGAL’s lawyers, who are former judges, so that they can answer all of the questions you have regarding this issue.