and women equal before the law
Two types of marriage are possible: civil and religious. Regardless
of the type chosen, the rights and obligations of the spouses
are the same.
Furthermore, in both cases, certain requirements must be met.
They relate to minimum age, blood ties, obligations to others,
the officiating minister or official, and delays respecting
the publication of the notice of the intentions of the spouses.
With the evolution of our society and its rule, both spouses
are equal before the law. They owe each other respect, assistance
and fidelity. Both equally share the moral and material responsibility
for the home and parental authority. Children born out of
wedlock now have the same rights as children issue of a marriage.
An article of the Civil Code provides that each spouse retains
his given names and surname after marriage. Other previsions
ensure the protection of the family residence. Your notary
can give you more detailed information on these aspects of
the new Civil Code.
All spouses, whether united by civil or religious marriage,
have a matrimonial regime. This regime lays down the rules
for the economic relationships between the spouses, particularly
insofar as concerns assets acquired during their life together
and the fate of these assets when their life together comes
to an end (by divorce, separation or the death of one of the
A matrimonial regime is a basic undertaking which guarantees
mutual understanding as to property rights and provides protection
for a sometimes unforeseeable future. It comes into effect
upon the solemnization of the marriage and ends upon divorce,
the death of one of the spouses or their mutual decision to
change their matrimonial regime by means of a deed executed
by a notary.
One should remember that couples married before July 1st,
1970, without having preceeded or followed their marriage
with a marriage contract, are subject to the provisions of
the regime of community of moveables and acquests. It is more
usually referred to as community of property. This regime
is no longer governed by our Civil Code, but couples already
married under it nevertheless continue to be governed by its
The law presently lays down rules for two matrimonial regimes.
The legal regime of partnership of acquests applies automatically
to all couples married since July 1st, 1970, and who have
not expressly chosen any matrimonial regime. The spouses may
also, by marriage contract signed before a notary, opt for
the regime of partnership of acquests and add additional conditions
or particulars to it
For its part, the conventional regime of separation as to
property always comes about as a result of a contract signed
before a notary. In marriage contracts all agreements that
are not contrary to law are possible between spouses.