Should We Share Everything or Not?

On January 1, 2018, a new matrimonial property act entered into force in the Netherlands.

Until January 1, 2018, the system of general community property applied. It meant that all property and debts of the spouses became joint property and debts. A limited  community of property applies to marriages that are entered into after January 1, 2018. Not everything becomes joint anymore. Property and debts from before the marriage remain with that particular person. Inheritances and gifts acquired after marriage go only to the receiver. All other property and debts that are acquired during the marriage become joint – and once the marriage ends due to death or divorce, they are split 50-50, while each spouse retains their personal property as well.

Does this law also apply to non-Dutch spouses? This question is not so easy to answer. It depends, among others, on the spouses’ nationality/ies, when their marriage took place and where they first settled after getting married.

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