Separation of Assets

What it is

The separation of property is the matrimonial property regime under which each spouse retains exclusive ownership of property acquired during the marriage. 

The separation of property has nothing to do with consensual or judicial separation of persons and does not affect in any way the rights (including inheritance rights) of the spouse.

How it is established

The separation of property operates only as a result of a specific choice by the spouses that can be made in two ways:

  • at the time of marriage, by a declaration contained in the celebration of the marriage;
  • at any time after the marriage by entering into a marriage contract (an actual contract).

Role of the Notary

In the latter case, the agreement is drawn up as a public document before a notary public in the presence of two witnesses; this will be noted in the margin of the marriage certificate. Administration of the assets is the responsibility of the spouses separately, each in relation to the assets of exclusive ownership. 

Creditors

Another aspect to consider is the liability for any debts. Responsibility lies separately with each of the spouses, which means that creditors can lay claim only to the assets of their debtor spouse and have no claim on the property of the other spouse.