Wedding, possessions and debts

Do you have wedding plans or do you enter into a registered partnership? In 2018, the rules on assets and liabilities that both partners contribute to the marriage are adjusted.

You can choose together to set other agreements about this yourself.

Standard: limited community of goods

If you do not arrange anything, you are marrying in limited community of goods. What does that mean?

  • Pre- marriages or debts remain private property and do not fall under the joint estate.
  • Gifts, gifts and legacies remain personal property, whether they are received before or during the wedding
  • Ability that is built up during the marriage or the registered partnership is yours.
  • For debts arising during the marriage (even if one of the partners knows nothing about this) both partners are liable.

Make a financial overview

To be able to prove that certain assets are your personal property (for example in case of a divorce, death, or debt), it is important to make an overview of assets and debts when you get married.

Important: proof of ownership

Without proof of ownership, personal items are counted as part of the common assets. It is therefore important that you record proof of ownership, for example if you invest money, or if you receive an inheritance or donation and use this money to repay the mortgage on the joint home.

Checklist: what to arrange

  • Make a note of your private assets and debts before the wedding.
  • Describe what happens to this private property during the wedding, for example if you use your savings for the joint household effects.
    Note : if you do not have proof of what happened to your personal assets during a divorce, this will fall into the joint estate.
  • Open a personal savings account for your private assets, so that it is clear that this capital does not belong to the joint estate.
  • Make agreements about how you deal with any value increase in assets, savings account or home, and record this.
  • Capture changes that take place during the marriage.

Tip : keep the joint administration well in addition to your own administration.

Pay attention to your own home and debts

If you withdraw into your partner ‘s home during the marriage, you will not be entitled to the (surplus) value of the property in the event of a divorce. The house dates from before the marriage and remains the property of your partner.

If, before your marriage, you bought a house together with a ownership ratio of, for example, 30 – 70 per cent, this ratio is automatically converted to 50 – 50 per cent when you take up the home in the community of goods. If you do not want this, record this before the marriage at the notary.

Creditors of a private debt can – if there is not enough money – collect the debt on (half of) the joint assets. That is why it is important to record your private property properly. This prevents you from falling into the community and going to creditors.

Determine deviant appointments

Would you rather marry in full community of goods? Or do you exclude your possessions or debts from the joint estate? Then have this recorded at a notary

If you live together unmarried

For couples who live together unmarried, the situation is unchanged. The law did not regulate anything for the cohabitants. You can have a cohabitation agreement drawn up in which you record your appointments.

If you are married before 2018

This amendment does not apply to marriages and registered partnerships concluded before 1 January 2018 . For that, if you have not arranged anything yourself, the ‘general community of goods’ applies.

This means that all assets and liabilities that have been built up before and during the marriage or registered partnership are jointly owned. This also applies to a donation or inheritance. After a divorce, the partners have to divide all the money and assets into two in principle. The same applies to the debts. Even if you do not know that your partner has made debts, you still have to pay for it.


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