Legal changes to marriage on entrepreneurship

Are either you or your children planning to get married soon In the Netherlands? Ensure that you are well informed regarding the Matrimonial Property Act. From January 1st 2018 new legislation applies that details new 'limitations of the legal joint ownership of property' in marriage.

New Legislation

The 'joint ownership of property' principle that applied to any marriage enacted prior to January 1st 2018 declared that all assets and debts would be automatically shared by both partners of the marriage. The new legislation changes this. Now, after a marriage has been enacted, the following items fall outside the joint ownership of property principle:

  • Commercial enterprises that either partner owned prior to the marriage
  • Gifts or inheritances that either partner receives during the marriage

Shareholder directors are not required to declare their commercial interests

This new legislation has significant consequences for shareholder directors. If the company ownership or shares were registered prior to the date of marriage, these assets shall remain the sole property of that partner and need not be shared with the other. Different rules and conditions apply to this. Shareholder directors should seek expert advice before making their marriage vows. 

Questions regarding this new legislation and how it affects marriage should be directed to our Private Client Services advisors.


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