You can make your relationship official in the Netherlands by marrying or entering into a civil partnership. You and your partner will then have certain rights and obligations towards each other.
What kind of property arrangements are possible in marriage and civil partnerships?
You can marry or form a civil partnership in community of property or you can opt for a prenuptial agreement or partnership agreement.
Marriage or civil partnership in community of property
If you marry or form a civil 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 formed a civil partnership and the assets and debts that you acquire during your marriage or civil partnership. The assets and debts that were solely yours (or your partner’s) before you married or formed a civil partnership are not included in community property.
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 civil 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 civil partnership are excluded from community property.
Prenuptial agreement or civil 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 civil partnership agreement. This agreement will contain all the arrangements you and your partner have agreed.
The civil-law notary will advise both partners about the content and implications. In doing so, he will act as an impartial professional expert and attempt to reach a balanced agreement in which the personal circumstances of both partners are taken into full consideration. If the partners (or one of them) are foreign nationals, certain aspects of international law will be relevant. In some cases, international treaties apply, while in others the national law of the country concerned takes precedence. The civil-law notary will usually wish to discuss matters with both partners before preparing a draft agreement. If both partners agree to the content of the agreement, the deed containing the agreement will be signed by both partners and by the civil-law notary