What are the possible marital regimes?

"Family by Law" is a section of Caiado Guerreiro where the team leader of the Family and Succession Department, Stéfanie Luz, answers questions on the subject.
News 18/10/2023

The property regime is the set of legal or conventional rules that will classify whether an asset will be the personal property of one of the spouses or the common property of the couple.

In the Portuguese Civil Code, there are three typical regimes:

   * Communion of acquisitions = This is the supplementary regime that will be applied if the spouses have not stated otherwise. In this case, the assets each spouse owned before the marriage remain part of their separate estates, while all assets acquired onerously during the marriage will be considered marital common property.

   * General communion of property = all assets integrate the marital common property, even those acquired before the marriage. Save for the exceptions established in Article 1733 of the Portuguese Civil Code.

   * Separation of property = there is no marital common propriety. Co-owned assets may exist, in which property divisions are based on the percentage each spouse contributed to purchasing said asset.

To choose the property regime, it will be necessary to draw up a prenuptial agreement. Through this contract, the bride and groom can even combine rules from the three typified regimes or create their own property regime, as long as it is within the limits of the law.

There are specific circumstances in which the law can imperatively limit or force the choice of a particular property regime (article 1720 of the Civil Code).

Talk to your lawyer for more questions on Family and Succession.

The content of this information does not constitute any specific legal advice; the latter can only be given when faced with a specific case. Please contact us for any further clarification or information deemed necessary in what concerns the application of the law.

Practice Areas

  • Family and Inheritance