Step 1

What are marriage contracts?

The purpose of the marriage contracts is to establish the economic regime by which the spouses or future spouses must be governed during their matrimonial life. Likewise, they will also be able to determine in them as many stipulations as they consider necessary and, even, to establish pacts for the case that a matrimonial breakup takes place.

Step 2

What documentation do I need to go to the notary to formalize a marriage contract?

If you want to sign the capitulations before getting married:

National identity card

Step 3

What are the costs of formalizing a marriage settlement deed?

This is a merely informative and non-binding estimate. It is calculated on the basis of two criteria: 1) our knowledge of the Notarial Tariff and 2) our daily experience in the preparation of this type of notarial document. (Royal Decree 1426/1989, dated November 17, 1989). and 2) our daily experience in the preparation of this type of notarial document. However, any variation (upward or downward) will be duly justified at the time of issuing the final invoice for the notarial service rendered.

Step 4

More frequently asked questions

What are the economic implications of marriage?

When two people get married, they should know that as a result, their economic relations will be intensely affected, since the law determines that every marriage will be governed by a matrimonial property regime, that is to say, by specific rules that will determine how their assets are administered, to whom the assets they owned before the marriage belong, as well as those they acquire during the marriage and, even, the rights of each of them in case of dissolution of the marriage bond.

What types of matrimonial property regimes are there and what are their main characteristics?

In the area of Catalan civil law, which is the area of activity of this notary's office, the following regimes can be identified:


In it, each spouse has the ownership, enjoyment, administration and free disposal of all his or her property, with the only limits established by law. Each spouse retains ownership of the assets that belonged to him/her before the marriage, as well as those acquired during the marriage. The onerous acquisitions(example a purchase and sale of a real estate) that take place during the marriage, belong to the spouse who is the owner.

<ejemplo>Así pues, por ejemplo, si dos personas están casadas en separación de bienes y uno de ellos adquiere una segunda residencia, constando adquirida e inscrita sólo a favor de un cónyuge, dicha vivienda le pertenece sólo a él o ella.<ejemplo>


In this regime, each spouse has the ownership, enjoyment, administration and free disposition of all his/her property, with the only limits established by law. And unlike the previous one, in case the marriage bond is extinguished (for example, in case of divorce), each spouse will have the right to participate in the patrimonial increase obtained by the other during the time that this regime has been in force. Thus, when the regime is extinguished, the difference between the initial patrimony and the final patrimony of each of the spouses will be made and, in view of the result obtained:

  • Si sólo uno de los cónyuges ha obtenido un incremento patrimonial, el otro tendrá derecho a la mitad del valor de ese incremento.

    <ejemplo>Así pues, si el Sr. Juan y la Sra. María estuvieren casados bajo este régimen, si al producirse el divorcio, el Sr. Juan no hubiere obtenido ningún incremento patrimonial, mientras que la Sra. María hubiere incrementado su patrimonio en 100.000, el Sr. Juan tendría derecho a obtener la mitad de ese incremento, es decir, 50.000€.<ejemplo>
  • Si ambos hubieren obtenido un incremento patrimonial, el que hubiere obtenido menos tendrá derecho a la diferencia entre el valor de su propio incremento y el del otro cónyuge.

    <ejemplo>En este caso, siguiendo el ejemplo anterior, si el Sr. Juan hubiere obtenido un incremento de 20.000€ y la Sra. María ese incremento ya indicado de 100.000€, en este caso, la Sra. María debería entregar al Sr. Juan 40.000€, correspondientes a la mitad de la diferencia entre los incrementos patrimoniales de ambos.<ejemplo>


Its main characteristic is that the profits obtained indistinctly by any of the spouses and the assets to which such character is conferred become common.

<ejemplo>Así pues, por ejemplo, si el Sr. Juan y la Sra. María, al contraer matrimonio, deciden regir el mismo por este sistema, si durante la unión la Sra. María, como exitosa abogada, consigue reunir 500.000€ derivados de su actividad profesional, que se destinan al ahorro familiar, si finalmente se rompiera el vínculo matrimonial, la mitad de ese importe correspondería al Sr. Juan.<ejemplo>


Finally, it should also be noted that Catalan law provides for other matrimonial property regimes specific to certain specific geographical areas of Catalonia, such as, for example, the partnership for purchases and improvements, the "agermanament" or half and half pact or the so-called "pacto de convivença o mitja guadanyeria" (cohabitation pact).

In any case, as already indicated at the beginning of this question, these matrimonial property regimes correspond to those provided for in Catalan legislation. However, in the event that the contracting parties have another civil status, the regimes provided for in other regional or autonomous civil regulations or, if applicable, those provided for in the common Civil Law could be applicable to them.

How is the matrimonial property regime of the marriage determined?

In accordance with Spanish and Catalan civil law, the matrimonial property regime will always be determined by choice of the spouses, for which purpose they must execute a marriage contract.

What is my matrimonial property regime if I have contracted a marriage and I have not notarized a marriage contract?

In case of not making an express choice by means of a marriage contract, in such a case the spouses will apply the matrimonial property regime provided for in a supplementary way in the competent civil legislation. For example, the supplementary legal regime foreseen in the Catalan regulation, that is, the regime of separation of property. Whereas, in Madrid or Andalusia, for example, the supplementary legal regime provided for in the Civil Code is the community property regime.

What is the supplementary legal regime in each Autonomous Community?

Below is a table detailing the supplementary legal regime in each territory, i.e., the one that will be applied in the event that the spouses do not expressly agree on this matter:

Aragon Marital consortium
Balearic Islands Separation of assets
Catalonia Separation of assets
Navarra Legal partnership of conquests
Galicia Partnership in community of property
Vizcaya Foral communication
Rest of the Communities Partnership in community of property

Simply, as clarification, I have to comment that, with regard to the Aragonese conjugal consortium, in the same one a presumption of community to all the goods acquired in the marriage is established, with which, this regime is quite similar to the community of acquisitions, as it happens with the so-called Navarrese foral communication, in which its concrete characteristics also assimilate it to a regime of community of acquisitions. For more information about a specific matrimonial property regime, my best advice would be to go to a competent notary in the specific territory, as he/she will surely be familiar with all the particularities of the same.

See more frequently asked questions

How is the applicable civil legislation determined to determine the matrimonial property regime of the spouses if they are from different Autonomous Communities?

In the event that the parties are domiciled in different Autonomous Communities and, in view of this, the legal regime applicable to their marriage is different(which would happen, for example, if two persons were married, one residing in Madrid and the other in Barcelona, since in the case of Madrid the applicable legal regime would be that of community property, while in the case of Barcelona, it would be that of separation of property), in such case, to determine which matrimonial property regime, the provisions of Article 9.2 of the Civil Code, which establishes that, in case the law applicable to the contracting parties is not the same, the matrimonial property regime will be determined as follows:

  • En primer lugar, por la ley que elijan de común acuerdo los cónyuges, otorgando a tal efecto una escritura de capitulaciones matrimoniales, pudiendo en tal caso elegir entre las normas aplicables a cualquiera de los dos miembros del matrimonio.

    <ejemplo>Así pues, por ejemplo, en el caso expuesto anteriormente, los cónyuges podrán elegir en sus capitulaciones matrimoniales si aplicar el régimen de sociedad de gananciales (que sería aplicable por la vecindad civil del cónyuge que vive en Madrid) o, en su caso, el de separación de bienes (que sería aplicable por la vecindad civil del otro cónyuge que vive en Barcelona).<ejemplo>
  • En segundo lugar, y a falta de las capitulaciones matrimoniales antes indicadas, será de aplicación la ley del lugar de residencia habitual común inmediatamente posterior a la celebración del matrimonio.

    <ejemplo>Así pues, por ejemplo, si después del matrimonio, los cónyuges deciden vivir juntos en una vivienda en Barcelona, en tal caso, el régimen económico matrimonial aplicable a la unión será el de separación de bienes, que es el que establece la normativa catalana.<ejemplo>
  • Por último, si después del matrimonio, los cónyuges siguieren viviendo en lugares distintos con una normativa civil diferente, en tal caso, la norma de aplicación será la que rija en el lugar de celebración del matrimonio

    <ejemplo>Así pues, siguiendo el ejemplo anterior, si los cónyuges siguen viviendo separadamente en Madrid y Barcelona, y celebraron su matrimonio en un Notario de Madrid, el régimen aplicable será el de sociedad de gananciales, que es el que establece el Derecho común que rige en la capital española.<ejemplo>

What are marriage contracts?

As has just been indicated, the marital contracts are a pact or agreement reached by the spouses (or future spouses, as will be seen), by virtue of which they establish the matrimonial property regime that will govern their union.

Likewise, in these capitulations, the spouses or future spouses may also make gifts to each other, establish any other lawful stipulations and covenants that they deem convenient, and even reach agreements on how an eventual marital breakdown should be articulated.

Can child custody clauses be included in the marriage contract?

No. Regarding the custody of the children, the Notary is not competent to regulate or decide on matters of filiation or custody; it will be the judge who resolves the separation or divorce who will decide on these matters.

How are marriage contracts granted?

Marriage contracts are executed in a public deed authorized before a Notary Public.

When can marriage contracts be granted?

Marriage contracts may be granted:

  • Or before the marriage. In this case, in order to be valid and effective, it will be necessary that the marriage is finally formalized and, in addition, taking into account that its effects will expire if the marriage is not celebrated within one year.
  • Or after marriage.

Who can grant marital contracts?

Marriage contracts may be executed by all persons who are already married or, failing that, by those who have the capacity to validly contract a future marriage.

Are the marital contracts registered in any kind of public registry?

Indeed, in order for the marital contracts to have effects and be enforceable against third parties, they must be registered in the Civil Registry, as well as, if applicable, in other public registries(for example, in the Land Registry if there has been a modification of the regime that affects the nature of a specific real estate property, or in the Commercial Registry if one of the spouses is a sole proprietorship).

Can marriage contracts be modified?

Of course, the matrimonial chapters can be modified, granting a new public deed to that effect, but for this, as it cannot be otherwise, it will be necessary the consent of both spouses or future spouses.

In this case, it will again be necessary to register the modification of the chapters in the corresponding public registries in order for this variation to be effective against third parties.

Finally, it should be noted that, in any case, the modification of the matrimonial property regime will not affect the rights acquired by third parties prior to such modification.

Can the marriage contracts be annulled?

Of course, if both spouses wish, they can execute a new public deed establishing this.

Can the marriage contracts include covenants in anticipation of a future marital breakdown?

Indeed, it is possible that, in the marital contracts, in addition to choosing the economic regime of the marriage, the spouses or future spouses make agreements on how their relations should be articulated and how their assets should be distributed in the event that, eventually, in the future, this marital union is broken.

In such a case, interested parties should take into account the following issues established by law:

  • If the capitulations are granted before the marriage, these agreements in anticipation of future marital breakdown will only have effect if they are granted before the thirty days prior to the date of celebration of the marriage.
  • This type of covenants can be included in the marital chapters or, if preferred, in a separate deed granted for that purpose.
  • When the deed is executed, the Notary who authorizes it will inform separately each of the grantors about the content and meaning of the covenants they intend to enter into, in order to ensure that both spouses or future spouses give their free consent and properly understand the legal consequences of such covenants.
  • If these covenants include provisions that exclude or limit rights, they should be of a reciprocal nature and clearly worded so that it is easy to identify which rights are being waived or limited.

Likewise, it is necessary to indicate that, if subsequently, the marital breakdown occurs, and any of the spouses intends to enforce the agreements reached, they must take into account that the law establishes the following issues:

  • In seeking to enforce the agreement, the spouse seeking to do so must prove that the other party had, at the time of signing the agreement, sufficient information about his or her assets, income and financial expectations.
  • In any case, if as a result of a change in relevant circumstances that could not have been foreseen when the covenants were reached, the performance of such covenants becomes seriously detrimental to one of the parties, the covenants will not be effective.

What should I do if I want to sign prenuptial agreements?

In order to sign a prenuptial agreement, it will be necessary to have a date for the marriage and to provide only the identity documents of both parties.

In any case, given the patrimonial transcendence of the document, it is recommended to the parties that, if they consider it convenient, they consult previously this matter with a lawyer specialized in the matter, so that he/she can advise them adequately.

In this case, I would also like to point out that finally, when the marriage has already been celebrated, the contracting parties must bring to the Notary's office the literal Certificate of registration of the Civil Registry in which the marriage is recorded, from which moment the authentic copy of the deed of capitulations can be issued.

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Step 5

Where can I consult the applicable regulations?

Step 6

Make an appointment