Understanding matrimonial regimes and their impact.

When we work with our clients on the organization and management of their assets, we very often begin by reminding them of the importance of their matrimonial regime.

Community reduced to acquests, universal community or separation of property ?

It is indeed difficult to grasp the nuances between all these contracts and the impact they will have on the couple's assets at the time of dissolution, whether by death.

What is community reduced to acquests ?

To protect your wealth on the death of your spouse or in the event of a divorce, it is essential to know which assets and property belong to whom.

It is also important to understand one thing: regardless of the name registered on the bank account or in the statutes of a company, it is the matrimonial regime that sets the rules of the game!

The community reduced to acquests is the regime of the spouses who marry without concluding a marriage contract, in which the property is divided into 3 masses: the common property on the one hand and the property of each spouse.

Assets (a house, a business, a car, etc.) acquired during the marriage, either by the two spouses, or by one of them, are common by nature. For example, the company created by Mr once married, of which he considers to hold 100% of the titles, therefore also belongs to Mrs! In particular, professional income, such as that generated by the spouse's own assets, is frequent.

The mass of personal property is limited to the property that each spouse owned before the marriage, and to those received by gift or inheritance during the marriage. Each spouse can manage their common property alone and freely dispose of their earnings and salaries for the payment of marriage expenses. But it is impossible to give a common good without the agreement of one's spouse.

Family housing is particularly protected: whether it is theirs or shared, the spouses cannot manage or dispose of it alone.

What is the regime of the universal community ?

In this paragraph, we explain the nature and the risks of this matrimonial regime.

In the system of universal community, the property owned by the spouses on the day of their marriage, and those which will be acquired or received, form a single common mass.

The heritage and liabilities of each being common, this regime is not recommended when one of the spouses exercises an entrepreneurial activity since the entire estate could be committed vis-à-vis the possible creators.

On the other hand, it is a very good protection for the spouse with few assets; he will receive half of her husband's property, or even all of it if a full attribution clause has been provided for.

In this case, on the 1st death, all joint assets will go to the survivor. This clause is suitable for people who wish to maintain their lifestyle on the death of their spouse, or who have a modest heritage.

On the other hand, it is criminal for children who will only inherit on the death of the second parent, and who will only be entitled to a single tax deduction (instead of one per parent).

An alternative to this full attribution also exists to protect the spouse without harming the children: provide for a preciput clause which only allows the withdrawal of certain assets, in full ownership or in usufruct, so that the spouse can choose the assets they canned.