Luis Prados Ramos



In Spain, except in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, when two people get married, this, in the absence of an agreement, is governed by a community regime, such as the community of property, the Aragonese consortium or the Navarrese conquest regime.

For this reason, except in those places, when marriage agreements are granted, it is normally to agree on a regime of separation of property, to the point that there is a certain identification in the imagination of people, between marriage agreements and separation of property.

It is said "I have made capitulations" as equivalent to "I have agreed to separation of property".

In Catalonia and the Balearic Islands there is separation of assets

On the contrary, in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, as the supplementary matrimonial economic regime is the one that is applied in the absence of an agreement, that of separation of property, the matrimonial agreements have a different meaning, despite not having any difference from a legal point of view, with those that can be granted in other parts of Spain.

In addition to Catalonia, the Matrimonial Agreements were the vehicle through which contractual succession, very frequent in rural areas, was articulated, at least until the entry into force of Book IV of the Civil Code of Catalonia.

So, do marriage agreements only serve for a regime of separation of property?

Before answering this question, it would be convenient to point out that marriage agreements are a contract of a matrimonial nature in which the matrimonial economic regime can be determined, and depending on the case, agree on succession agreements, make donations and establish the stipulations and lawful agreements that are considered appropriate, even in anticipation of a marital breakdown

The content of marriage agreements

The capitulations are a contract linked to marriage, since its meaning is to regulate certain aspects of it, may be granted before or after its celebration.

If they are granted before, they only take effect from the celebration of the marriage and expire if the marriage does not take place within one year.

Marriage agreements can be granted by those who can validly get married, who will need, in some cases, a complement of capacity and in any case require a public deed.

Despite the broad formula that we have indicated in the definition of marriage chapters, it is very difficult to specify what its content is, since it is not always easy to ensure that its limits, consisting of respect for the principles of equality, moral and social parity, are not violated.

Check list

In any case, I'm going to try to do some kind of check list about those aspects of marriage or its extinction that can be the object of a pact, and that I am sure that more than one will be reminded of American movies.

We will make four groups of pacts:

a) Agreements relating to the relationship between the spouses.

1.- Possibility of eliminating essential duties of marriage, such as fidelity.

2.- Possibility of distributing domestic functions within the home.

3.- Possibility of temporarily excluding having children.

4.- Possibility of establishing rules to establish the conjugal domicile.

5.- Possibility of agreeing on the inclusion or exclusion of causes of divorce.

b) Agreements relating to relations with children.

1.- Pacts on the education of children, centers where they have to study, their religious or ideological inspiration.

2.- Agreements relating to the expenses of non-common children.

3.- Agreements on compulsory schooling.

c) Covenants relating to the matrimonial regime.

1.- Possibility of establishing a marriage regime other than the legally applicable one. Thus, it is possible to agree on a regime of separation of assets or a regime of participation in profits.

2.- Possibility of agreeing on a totally atypical economic regime.

3.- Possibility of agreeing to a foreign regime or one in force in another Spanish Community.

d) Covenants relating to the breakdown of marriage.

1.- Possibility of agreeing on compensation for work for the other spouse or for the household without remuneration or with insufficient remuneration, in the sense of increasing or decreasing the legal minimum, or its exclusion.

2.- Possibility of regulating the compensatory benefit, in the sense of fixing its modality, amount, duration and extinction.

3.- Possibility of regulating the attribution of the use of the family home or second residences, in the sense of who it may correspond to and for how long, or the possibility of establishing a shift of use.

4.- Possibility of regulating the guardianship and custody of the children.

5.- Possibility that certain assets that belong to both are awarded to one of the spouses, at the time of divorce.

Effectiveness of the pacts

Given the different nature of the agreements that we have listed, the consequences cannot be determined in a generic way, since in the absence of conformity it will be the judge who determines their legality.

However, and broadly speaking, we can point out that those whose non-compliance does not derive direct economic consequences must be linked to the establishment of compensation for the defaulting spouse and for the benefit of the other.






  1. Esc. Robert Melo Vallejos - Montevideo - Repca. Eastern Uruguay-

    I appreciate this publication that is very useful when we have to know the Matrimonial Property Regime of the citizens of Spain. In such cases when appearing
    selling a foreign citizen we must investigate the right of his FIRST MARRIAGE ADDRESS, since this is the point of connection that governs his Matrimonial Property Regime.
    Kind regards.

  2. I can make matrimonial chapters, and sign that a man has his own house, in case of having a child, if we separate, that the man does not have to leave his house, and help the woman in renting an apartment,

  3. Given that we both have children from previous marriages and that we are economically independent, can it be agreed that in the event of the death of one of the members of the couple, the other has no right to anything at all from his inheritance and all assets, usufructs, legitimacy, etc., be in favor of each one's own children? This would be in order not to harm the children. Thanks for the reply

  4. I will put half of an apartment that I bought with the money from a sale of mine, in her name 8 (with payment by donation) to what will be my wife

    1. Power can do it, but the pacts in anticipation of the rupture can be subject to adjustment by the judges. It would have to be written very clearly, indicating the reason for the pact. but my advice is that if you pay with your own money, put it in your name. And if you want to foresee something because of a divorce, do it very thoughtfully.

  5. I got married in Asturias last year where by default the marriage is in community property. However, they told me that since they both live and are registered in Catalonia, this is the opposite and by default they are in a separate property regime and that the latter is what really counts. Is that so? What situation am I in: in community property or in separation? What counts, the place where you get married or where you live and are registered? Thanks a thousand.

    1. It derives from various factors, in the absence of an agreement in order of preference:
      1.- common civil neighborhood of the spouses.
      2.- Common habitual place of residence after the marriage.
      3.- place of celebration of the marriage.
      The civil neighborhood has nothing to do with the registration, they are different things, but the best thing you can do is determine by capitulation the regime you want, to avoid doubts.

    2. it is so
      I got married in Soria, where the property regime governs, but since I had lived in Barcelona for more than 10 years and being a man, our marriage became a separation of property
      I specified that I am the man, because the matrimonial regime of the man's residence prevails

    3. it is so
      I got married in Soria, where the property regime governs, but since I had lived in Barcelona for more than 10 years and being a man, our marriage became a separation of property
      I specified that I am the man, because the matrimonial regime of the man's residence prevails

  6. I would like to know if I marry a girl from outside Spain, what regime would we have if we got married in Catalonia since we live here and I am Catalan and she is Russian and we have a girl in common and we have lived together for about 7 years

    1. The best thing you should do is agree on the regime you want and you will avoid all kinds of doubts. The paco can be done before or during the marriage, and it is done in public deed, which has a reduced cost.

  7. I got married in Barcelona in 1996 with a foreign person (who was the widower of a Spanish person, they had married in the Balearic Islands and had a son born in the Balearic Islands). He acquired Spanish nationality a few years later. When we got married I lived in Barcelona for 11 years and he had lived for 6 and we have continued to live in this city uninterruptedly until today. I would like to know if our matrimonial economic regime is separation of property. Thank you

    1. It's a complex answer, and hard to answer without looking at documentation. If you do not have any kind of conflict with your partner, the best thing you can do is write a deed of marriage agreement and clarify your marriage regime. In any case, if you have done any deed together since you were married, it is normal for you to set your marriage regime, even if it is by approximation.

  8. So if there is freedom of agreement, two people with Catalan civil due date, go to live in Madrid, get married there:

    1. They can marry according to the Civil Code of Catalonia for their civil expired
    2. In the event that they want to marry by community property, whether they are living in Madrid or Barcelona, since there is freedom of agreement, they may not accept the Civil Code or it would not be possible due to their civil expiration

  9. Hello,
    I am getting married soon in Badalona (Catalonia)
    and I am embarrassed to request the form of Separation of Property before the notary, because it is not romantic to do it before we get married.
    I wanted to know, what will the form be using by default? (separation of property or property…)

    thank you.

    1. It depends on several factors, among others, the nationality of the spouses. In Catalonia, in the absence of an agreement, the separation of assets is applied, but I do not know, from the information you give me, if this is applicable to you

  10. Hello, I am getting married in Catalonia and we want separation of property. We are living in Alicante, but she is registered in Navarra and I am in Valencia.

    If we do nothing, what regime applies?

    Thank you so much

  11. My partner and I came to live in Catalonia in 1985.
    We had a son and then here another, at some point they gave us a family book, I say this because perhaps it implies that at that moment we determined what regime we are in, and that is the question.
    We want a mortgage and we need to know if we are in community property or property separation.
    how do we find out? If during any procedure someone had asked us, we would surely have said that we preferred the community property, but if we have not clarified it, we want to know which one we have been awarded.

    1. If you are not married, you do not have a marriage regime. If you are married and have doubts about your marriage regime, make some capitulations and leave it fixed. Anyway, for the mortgage it is indifferent, one or the other option, as long as they both sign. If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact us.

  12. I am from the province of Barcelona and I am marrying a Peruvian girl, each one will be the owner of his salary and the earnings or inheritances or everything is halfway between the two and in case of separation, what to leave
    Thank you

  13. Good afternoon
    I got married in Catalonia, we have not agreed to any agreement, we have 2 children together, he has a son from a previous marriage, how do I know in which regime we got married, my husband when we got married owned and still has a flat of which he had paid only half, now we pay the 2 mortgages and bills together, what happens with this, in the event of a divorce do I recover something or is it money that I pay on a non-refundable basis, thank you!!!

    1. In principle, I think they should be married under a separate property regime. Anyway, your question is too long to answer by email. Make an appointment and we will inform you of all the details you need.

  14. Antonia Garcia Coloma

    A lawyer has told me that since I am from Jaén ... my partner is from Badajoz we get married in Catalonia at the age of 24 and 26 respectively, the regime we have is community property, because you should have been in Catalonia for 10 years from the age of majority for them to apply the separation of assets ... is this correct? Thank you in advance

  15. Good morning
    a couple she Moroccan and Egyptian are married in Catalonia and retain their respective nationalities.
    Does the Catalan civil law of separation of property or that of their respective countries apply to them?

    thank you!!

  16. Rocio Nice of the river

    My parents got married in 1960 in Catalonia and lived there. My older sister was born in 1961 and has a recognized incapacity for a 77%. My parents had lived in Malaga since approximately 1965. My mother died, leaving two parts of her will to her children and one part and the usufruct to my father.
    We accepted the inheritance in Malaga and the letter says that my parents are married jointly. Can it be if there are no capitulations?

    1. Most likely, from what he tells me, his parents were married in separation of property. With the agreement of the widower and the heirs, it can be clarified in the appropriate sense. In the absence of an agreement, a judge would determine the marriage regime.

    1. YOU SHOULD SEE THE CONTENT OF THE WILL. As in the other question, with the agreement of the heirs, any reasonable interpretation is viable. But to look at establishing a position without seeing a single paper, the inheritance situation is very complicated.

  17. Rocio Nice of the river

    And if there was an error in the documentation that was presented and it was omitted that they were married under the Catalan regime. And if the bad faith on the part of my father and his current wife were seen?

  18. Hello, in a holographic will in danger of death, relatives of the first degree, second degree and third degree of kinship and even the administrator sign, the will can be revoked even if the inheritance has been partitioned (I say partition) because the properties are still all there, there was never any distribution,,,,,

  19. Good evening, my case is that I got married 7 years ago in the Spanish consulate in Cuba with a girl from Puerto Rico, I was born in Barcelona and I have lived here all my life.
    She came to live in Barcelona immediately after the wedding and now we are filing for divorce after 7 years of marriage living together in Barcelona and after the birth of our daughter.
    She is still a foreigner, because she has not yet obtained Spanish nationality.
    In what type of regime would the separation be, in community property or in separation of assets?
    Thank you

  20. good afternoon, it is true that in Catalonia the regime is the separation of assets unless otherwise agreed. But has it always been like this or from some specific law? My parents got married in July 1977 and now they are separated and it is not clear to him. They only know that they did not capitulate. Thank you.

    1. >the determination of the matrimonial regime is regulated in article 9 of the civil code. Based on the criteria that it establishes, the matrimonial regime can be determined. In the absence of an agreement, it would be that of the civil neighborhood of the spouses at the time of contracting it; failing that, by the law of the common habitual residence immediately after the celebration, and, in the absence of said residence, by that of the place where the marriage was celebrated.

      All the best.

  21. Hello,
    I am a Moroccan national, I have legally resided in Catalonia since 2005 and in 2011 I got married. My husband is Spanish and lives in Catalonia. My husband is going to buy an apartment in his name while we are currently married and my question is, could the apartment be repossessed when I had mortgage debts that I had to stop paying years ago for reasons that are irrelevant now?

  22. Good afternoon,

    We are a married couple, both of us of Armenian nationality married in Armenia.
    My husband has lived in Barcelona for 18 years and I have lived for 1 year and a half.
    Here in Spain we have not registered our marriage in the Civil Registry. I would like to know what regime our marriage is in here in Catalonia? Or until we register it here, we are not considered a married couple (although I have entered Spain through family reunification, because I am married to a permanent resident in Spain)?
    All these questions come because my husband wants to buy a property with my sister-in-law, but by informing the bank that one of the owners is married, they are forcing me to also be included as the third owner as I am the wife of one of the owners. According to the bank, if we have not agreed with my husband on the property separation regime by default, we enter into the regulations of the community property regime. The only way not to make me aware of the purchase of the property is that the bank asks my husband to present the property separation contract registered in the Civil Registry. But since we didn't get married in Spain, I don't know if I can register the separation of property if my marriage isn't even registered?

    Thank you very much in advance for your help!


  23. Hello. I'm getting married in Barcelona. We were both born in Barcelona. I have seen that in Catalonia you get married with separate property…. There is no way that it can be in community property? We do not want separation of property. Thank you

      1. Thank you. I have to go to a notary, right? And comment the same as I have said here. I do not want separation of property. We want 50%

  24. Hello good morning
    My husband and I are and live in Barcelona, but on the day of the wedding we went to the Valdemoro court in Madrid because his father was older and I was excited for him to see us, but we returned to Barcelona and we are still here, registered and all, it was just that the wedding was
    in Valdemoro, for emotional reasons… what regime are we?…I think that Catalan
    No ???
    I appreciate your kindness

  25. A person who dies and does not have a will, but if there are marriage agreements, is the spouse considered usufructuary of all the assets by law?
    Even if I have 2 children from other relationships?

  26. I am Spanish and I live in Catalonia, I have a son from my previous marriage, I am going to marry a foreigner who has an adult daughter who has never lived with him. My question is if we buy a home before the marriage date to establish the conjugal domicile in Valencia, what regime should we request so that this property in the event of death or divorce my son or I can inherit my part.

  27. Greetings Luis Prados.
    My partner is Spanish and I am Mexican, we will get married in Mexico and we plan to legalize the marriage in Catalonia (since he lives there) if we get married in Mexico for separate property, the legalization in Catalonia is done under the same regime, but if we also want to make capitulations, can this be done in Catalonia even though the marriage has already been celebrated in Mexico?

  28. Hello, my question is, I am going to get married in a few months and I have an apartment that I bought myself a few years ago if something happened in the future, what would happen? Will my apartment remain only mine? Thank you

    1. The apartment will always be yours. In any case, our advice is that you make some marriage agreements with your future husband, before getting married, and probably a will.
      Contact us at the telephone number that you will have seen on the web, and we will gladly assist you.

  29. I would like to know if marriage agreements signed in Spain would be valid in another country where the wedding would take place.
    Thanks for your comments.

    1. In principle, capitulations are valid throughout the world. But it would be necessary to assess the laws of the country where they are intended to be enforced, if they demand some type of additional requirement

  30. Hello,
    My husband and I are Aragonese and we got married in Aragon 24 years ago without specifying capitulations. But since we were little and until now we have always lived in Catalonia. What is our marriage regime? marital property or separation of assets.
    Thank you so much

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