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What are marriage settlements?

What are marriage settlements?
Marriage settlements are a document granted before a notary public by which the spouses, or future spouses, establish the patrimonial and economic rules related to their marriage. Marriage settlements are mainly used to agree on the economic matrimonial regime of separation of assets. The default regime in Spanish common law is that of community property.

At Forcam Lawyers we recommend that before making marriage settlements, you should consult a professional to advise the couple and determine the best regime for both of them.

When should they be done?

Since the entry into force of Law 14/1975, marriage settlements can be made before or after the marriage has taken place and the economic regime can be changed from community property to separation of assets or vice versa, when desired, provided that there is consent by both parties.

Must marriage settlements be registered in a public deed?

In order for marriage contracts to be valid, they must be granted in a public deed before a notary, to be registered in the Civil Registry.

If the contract was made before the marriage, it loses its validity if the marriage is not celebrated within one year, is declared null and void or if the spouses are separated by a court decision.

If the content of the contract affects real estate, it must be registered in the Land Registry. The same applies if one of the partners is a trader, as in such a situation, a reason must be given in the commercial register.

If there is no marriage settlement, what is the regime for the couple?

If there is no marriage settlement, the couple's financial status will be that of matrimonial property, or that which applies in each Autonomous Community of residence. For example, in Catalonia, if there is no marriage settlement, the couple's economic regime will be that of separation of assets.

What limits exist when it comes to granting marriage settlements?

If you are a minor and are not emancipated, the consent of your parents or guardians will be necessary, except to establish the regime of separation of goods or participation (article 1329 of the Civil Code).

If the person is incapacitated, he or she will need the legal assistance of his or her guardian. 

According to article 1328 of the Civil Code: "Any provision contrary to the law, morality or limiting the equal rights of each spouse shall be null and void".

Contact us, and our expert marriage contract lawyers lawywill study your specific case.

At Forcam Lawyers we have a team of professionals with a lot of experience in family matters, who are responsible for serving national and international clients, both in person at our offices, and from a distance, online by videoconference:

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