What matrimonial regime when no marriage contract?

Matrimonial regimes have an impact on the acquisition and possession of real estate, so it is an important element to know when buying real estate as a couple. Find out which matrimonial regime applies in your country of expatriation and anticipate changes in status.

The situation is not always clear for expatriate and married couples without a marriage contract. Indeed, it is not uncommon for a couple to discover that their matrimonial regime has changed when financing a real estate project. That’s why the marriage contract turns out to be a very good way to avoid unpleasant surprises. It ensures the permanence of marital status and anticipates the vagaries of foreign legislation and automatic mutability .

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Without a marriage contract, the Marriage is defined according to two rules: in the case of a marriage outside France, the matrimonial regime of the country of the first principal residence of the couple applies (minimum of 183 days); in the case of an expatriation after a marriage in France, it is the matrimonial regime of the common nationality of the couple which takes precedence.

Matrimonial regimes are divided into 5 families: the community of acquisitions, the deferred community of property, participation in acquisitions, the separation of property with a distribution of property by courts and the separation of property.

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The Community of Acquisitions

Definition

With this matrimonial regime, the real property and movable property owned by the spouses prior to marriage remains their property. On the other hand, income and property acquired during marriage are considered to be common property . That is property owned by both spouses.

The countries concerned

The countries applying the Community of Acquisitions regime are as follows:

Albania, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Republic of Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada: Quebec State, Cape Verde, Chile, China (except Hong Kong and Macau), Central African Republic, Congo (Brazzo)), Republic of the Congo (Zaire), Korea (North) (common family heritage), Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, United States: Arizonia, Idaho, California, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Guatemala, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissao, Haiti (administration by husband), Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia (except for Muslims: Separation of property), Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, El Salvador, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar (Birma), Moldova, Mongolia (common heritage) Mozambique, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, San Marine, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (Balearic Islands, Catalonia: Separation of Property; Basque Netherlands, Estramadura: Universal Community), St. Lucia (Administration) by the husband), Suriname, Tajikistan, Chad (except separation of property under Muslim law), Thailand, Czech Republic, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam.

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The deferred community of property Download our full documentation

Definition

With this matrimonial regime, everything that the spouses possess before and during the marriage (real estate, furniture, income…) become common property . That is property owned by both spouses.

The countries concerned

Countries applying the deferred community of property regime are as follows:

Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Netherlands (similar to the community of property after the dissolution of marriage), Sweden.

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Definition

With this matrimonial regime, each spouse has their own property during marriage (as is the regime of separation of property). Upon dissolution of marriage, the spouses benefit from the benefits of the marital regime of the community reduced to gains .

The countries concerned

The countries that apply the equity participation regime are as follows:

Austria, Germany, Escotia, Greece, Israel, Macau, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey.

Separation of property with a distribution of property by courts This article might interest you: Investing in real estate by being expats as a mixed couple

Definition

With this matrimonial regime, each spouse has their own heritage during the marriage. At the dissolution of the marriage, it is a Tribunal that will define what is up to each of the spouses.

The countries concerned

Countries applying the regime of separation of property with a distribution of property by courts are as follows:

England, Australia, Canada (except Quebec: Acquisiting Community), United States (except Arizonia, Idaho, California, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington State, Wisconsin: Acquisiting Community), Ireland, New Zealand.

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Definition

With this matrimonial regime, each spouse has their own heritage during the marriage. At the time of the dissolution of the marriage, each spouse retains his or her heritage intact.

The countries concerned

Countries applying the Separation of Property Regime are as follows:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brunéi, Cyprus, South Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Iraq, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Monaco, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Quatar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Samoa, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

This information is given to you for information purposes only. If you carry out a real estate project as a couple from abroad, we advise you to consult a notary to confirm your matrimonial regime.

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