5 What are the consequences of divorce/separation?

5.1. How is the property (rights in rem) divided?

In case of divorce, the spouses’ community property is divided. First, the spouses’ personal property is separated. Following this, compensation and debts are paid. Finally, each spouse receives one half of the community property. The rule of equal shares is mandatory, which means that any agreement providing otherwise will be null and void (Art. 1730 CC). Even if the spouses have stipulated that the universal community of property shall apply to their property, in case of divorce the spouses only receive what they would be entitled to under the statutory community of property regime (Art. 1790 CC).

If the spouses do not reach an agreement on the division of their community property, the property will be divided by the court. If the spouses agree on the division of their community property, it will be performed in the presence of a civil law notary or at the Civil Registry.

5.2. Who is liable for existing debts after the divorce/separation?

In the course of the division of the community property, the common debts are also divided. Such a division, however, is only effective against creditors if they give their consent.

5.3. Does one spouse have a claim to an equalisation payment?

If the value of the assets that a spouse has received through the division of property exceeds the share that he/she is entitled to, the spouses can agree on an equalisation made in kind or in the form of a payment. In this case, the amount of the equalisation payment will be calculated by the civil law notary, according to the value of the assets, the debts, and the share of each spouse in the community property. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide on the equalisation.