What kind of property arrangements are possible in marriage and registered partnerships?

You can marry or enter into a registered partnership in community of property or you can opt for a prenuptial agreement or partnership agreement.

Marriage or partnership in community of property

If you marry or enter into a registered partnership, the statutory limited community of property system applies automatically. This means that community property includes only the assets and debts that you and your partner shared before you married or entered into a registered partnership and the assets and debts that you acquire during your marriage or registered partnership.

The assets and debts that were solely yours (or your partner’s) before you married or entered into a registered partnership are not included in community property.  

Inheritances and gifts are excluded from community of property

Inheritances and gifts are not included in community property, even if you received the inheritance or gift during the marriage or registered partnership. 

Dividing assets and debts when you divorce

If the statutory community of property system applies and you and your partner get a divorce or end your registered partnership, the assets and debts included in the community property are divided equally between you.

The assets and debts that were solely yours before the marriage or registered partnership are excluded from community property. This means you are not required to split these with your partner when you divorce or end your registered partnership. The same applies to inheritances or gifts you received before or during the marriage or registered partnership.

Marriage or registered partnership before 1 January 2018

If you got married or entered into a registered partnership before 2018 and you did not conclude a prenuptial or partnership agreement, then the general community of property system applies to you. This means that you and your partner share all present and future assets and debts. You also share all inheritances and gifts, unless the will or deed of gift contains an exclusion clause.

Prenuptial agreement or partnership agreement

If you wish to keep your assets and debts separate, you can have a civil-law notary draw up a prenuptial agreement or partnership agreement. This agreement will contain all the arrangements you and your partner have agreed.

Prenuptial agreement or partnership agreement in the matrimonial property register

Notaries register all prenuptial agreements and partnership agreements in the matrimonial property register (in Dutch). If you have a prenuptial agreement or partnership agreement, you can find it there.