Marital community of property – Part 1

This post is part 1 of a series of 3 articles on marital community of property

Marital community of property

Married couples without any prenuptial agreement automatically marry under the so-called regime of general community property. This means the spouses share all property equally, including assets obtained previous to the marriage, as well as inheritances and gifts that are not specifically covered by an exemption clause.

With this legislation, the Netherlands truly stands unique. In Germany, the default system is the so-called “Zugewinngemeinschaft”, in France, it is the ‘Communauté réduite aux acquêts’ – both of which are marital regimes limiting the jointly owned property to that acquired from the moment of marriage.

Slight changes since 2012

On 1 January 2012, a reform of the marital community property took effect. Whilst the content remains unaffected and the regime of general community property maintains its effect, some provisions have changed. These changes mark the end of a long debate within the Dutch marital legal system on the regime of general community property.

Learn more

See part 2 and part 3 of this series to read about these changes and the consequences these have for divorcing spouses.