Transferring marriage contracts between countries

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Please note that not all countries know marriage contracts and therefore do not necessarily recognize the marriage contracts concluded in other countries.

With a marriage contract, spouses can determine the legal effects that should apply to their marriage themselves, in some cases deviating from the legal regulation. Since it is a contract, this means that both partners have to agree on the regulation to be made.

The contract can be concluded before the intended marriage, but also at any time during the marriage. It must be recorded by a notary to be effective.

With the marriage contract, the married couple can regulate the distribution of marital rights and obligations, provided that the law does not declare individual legal consequences to be unalterable (e.g. the mutual maintenance obligation during the marriage cannot be excluded).

the most common regulations concern ...

... the marital property regime:

Here, instead of the statutory matrimonial property regime of the community of gains, the separation of property is often chosen. This is recommended, among other things, if one spouse already brings assets into the marriage and does not want the other spouse to benefit from an increase in value in the event of a divorce. This can be the case with property ownership. Separation of property can also be indicated if an existing business or practice is not to be endangered by compensation payments in the event of a later divorce.

... the pension adjustment:

This, i.e. the compensation of the pension entitlements acquired in the marriage, is excluded in the event of a divorce. However, this exclusion of the pension adjustment must have been recorded in advance at least one year and one day before the filing of a divorce petition, otherwise it requires the approval of the divorce judge to be effective.

The exclusion of the pension adjustment has a side effect in the case of divorce: The duration of the divorce proceedings is shortened considerably if it does not have to be carried out.

In the case of binational marriages, German courts have recently examined whether the exclusion of pension rights adjustment does not put the foreign spouse at an unreasonable disadvantage. If this is the case, the exclusion of the pension equalization will be considered invalid. Therefore, binational couples are advised to seek advice from a specialist lawyer.

... the exclusion of the post-marital maintenance claim of the spouses:

While an agreement to exclude spousal support during the marriage has been annulled by law, spousal support can often be waived after a divorce.

Both for the intended exclusion of the pension equalization as well as for the waiver of post-marital maintenance, but also under certain circumstances for the agreement of the separation of property, it should be taken into account that the partner who postpones his gainful employment in favor of caring for children together may be disadvantaged by the exclusion. If there is a desire to have children, it is therefore advisable to make exclusion subject to the condition that the marriage remains childless or at least that the partner caring for the children is protected in another form.