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Old 24.11.2014, 12:50
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Marriage contract useful?

Does a marriage contract make sense?

I heard two versions:

(1) A marriage contract is useful if one gets divorced: If the property question is solved in the contract than the judge has less work and a divorce goes through cheaper and faster.

(2) A marriage contact in CH does not capture important bits about property, so that it is basically useless.

My potential spouse and I are in love yada yada, but we are also realistic that 50% of marriages get divorced nowadays. If it does not work out, we'll probably be agreeing on a divorce, so there will be no quarrel.
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Old 24.11.2014, 14:06
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

In most European countries, what you have at the beginning of a marriage, is what you keep at the end. What you both collected in between is halved.

The relevant law comes from where you get divorced. If you can make it to Saudi before you get a court order from Switzerland, you might even keep the lot...

The idea is a bit depressing isn't it? So why not forget the idea. Or is one of you being pressured by a member of their family to sign a contract?
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Old 24.11.2014, 14:52
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

Eh no.

Nobody is pressing anybody here.

I just want to make clear that things go alright, when things break up.

The contract would then - in my opinion - include that things are not halved; the one who bought the house keeps the house - period. Unromantic but fair.
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Old 24.11.2014, 15:18
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

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Eh no.

Nobody is pressing anybody here.

I just want to make clear that things go alright, when things break up.

The contract would then - in my opinion - include that things are not halved; the one who bought the house keeps the house - period. Unromantic but fair.
Then you would need to have the house professionally valued just before the wedding, and just before the divorce. Then halve the increase or decrease in value, and adjust the final sum.

That is more fair, as both partners are "paying" the mortgage, and both are benefiting from living there.
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Old 24.11.2014, 15:19
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

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when things break up.
That is a bit negative, isn't it?
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Old 24.11.2014, 15:24
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

I feel a marriage contract is a protectionary measure for women (or men) who give up their jobs (or reduce working time) due to raising children. Getting back into the working world is difficult and, in case of break up, the contract offers financial support for the financially constrained partner.
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Old 24.11.2014, 15:52
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

Why marry if you think there's a 50% chance of divorce in the future?

Wouldn't it be better to live-in "just in case"?
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Old 24.11.2014, 15:59
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

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I feel a marriage contract is a protectionary measure for women (or men) who give up their jobs (or reduce working time) due to raising children. Getting back into the working world is difficult and, in case of break up, the contract offers financial support for the financially constrained partner.
Not really. It seems an efficient way to ensure that partners get nothing of what the other brought into the marriage (which is the rule here anyway). If there are no assets aquired during the marriage, then both will walk away with just what they brought in.

I don't see a pre-nup offering anything extra for post-divorce support (where there are no children, and then only to get some support toward the upkeep of the child).

If one partner worked two jobs to support and pay for the other's Plastic Surgery qualifications, then, as far as I can see, it's just tough.
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Old 24.11.2014, 16:02
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

I agree with jesuisuntouriste, why marry with that attitude? If you think you'll divorce down the line then the love isn't strong enough to start with.

But here's some info on Swiss divorce.

https://www.ch.ch/en/divorce
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Old 24.11.2014, 16:34
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

Would it not just be easier to take out a "different type of contract" after the break up.. Keeps things much cleaner..




Dear wife -- I mean this only for other people of course
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Old 24.11.2014, 16:42
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

Okay, let's say a couple marries and one of them becomes a billionaire during the marriage and then they break up.

What now? The other non-billionaire partner gets half?

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Would it not just be easier to take out a "different type of contract" after the break up..
Can you elaborate on this?
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Old 24.11.2014, 16:45
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

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Okay, let's say a couple marries and one of them becomes a billionaire during the marriage and then they break up.

What now? The other non-billionaire partner gets half?
Yes, unless you have a separation of assets regime (which is one of the choices in Switzerland.

However, anything you inherit or win in the lottery is never split, even if you have a shared assets regime (which shares even those acquired before the marriage).

Tom
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Old 24.11.2014, 16:54
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Re: Marriage contract useful?


From what I know, in CH there are 2 types of contract, the standard(most do it like that) which is what you bring before the marriage you keep and then half during etc and a custom made that its done by a notary.
CH accepts the concept of a pre nap, not many EU countries do by the way.
The question is though “where you will get divorce” then things will get complicated. For example if you move to the UK during your marriage, after some time a partner has the right to ask divorce in the UK and then I guess the CH contact is garbage as you will go by British law, which does not accept pre nap contacts.
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Old 24.11.2014, 17:05
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

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From what I know, in CH there are 2 types of contract, the standard(most do it like that) which is what you bring before the marriage you keep and then half during etc and a custom made that its done by a notary.
Never have heard of a custom made one, it certainly was not an option when we got married three years ago. However, we are both Swiss, so maybe it's different for non-Swiss.

The three Swiss options are:

Standard: anything you bring to the marriage stays yours, anything acquired during the marriage gets split (except for inheritance, lottery winnings)

Separate assets: as per Standard, except nothing is split

Combined assets: as per standard, except that everything is split (except for inheritance, lottery winnings)

Tom
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Old 24.11.2014, 17:12
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

Tom you are right!


by custom I ment the seperate assets!
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Old 24.11.2014, 17:31
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

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lottery winnings
"Hey, love. I've got good news and bad news..."
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Old 24.11.2014, 17:40
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

Dear Maxiii,

We were once in the same shoes as you are in i.e contemplating whether to sign a marriage contract as I love my partner and I do not necessarily need paper to prove it. Actually for us, we married in England and then decided to legalise this in Switzerland - not the smartest thing to do given you have to pay higher taxes after marriage in Switzerland!

But it boils down to protection.. I know if anything were to happen to me, then at least he would be own my assets, pension whatever.
Also, if I were to give up/partially give up my job for family reasons then go through a divorce, I as the weaker party would be protected and I think that is only fair.
People change and the person you married may no longer be the person you once knew - that's the sad part and this causes people to divorce!

All the best!
Lisa
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Old 24.11.2014, 18:00
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

Personally I think the marriage contract is not very useful.

The default "régime matrimonial" which means that everything personal on the moment of marriage will remain personal upon divorce (i.e. not dividable) and everything gained during the marriage is divided 50-50, with exceptions mentioned by Tom.

If you want to be more separate you can also select "séparation des biens", where everything (even gaining during marriage) is not dividable.

So, my point is that, what you want to make clear in the marriage contract is probably already clear in the régime matrimonial. For example, making a contract saying that the house you bought before marriage will remain yours after the divorce is just useless (because by default it is only yours upon divorce). On the other hand, what is not clear by only the regime matrimonial can neither be solved by a pre-marriage contract, because most of the after-marriage events which might bring financial disputes cannot be predicted when you marry.

Also, note that the room left for the marriage contract is not that much in Switzerland. You cannot sign a contract which has obvious and enormous advantage for one side. Otherwise, in extreme cases the judge can decide that some item of the contract is not valid to protect both sides on divorce.

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Does a marriage contract make sense?

I heard two versions:

(1) A marriage contract is useful if one gets divorced: If the property question is solved in the contract than the judge has less work and a divorce goes through cheaper and faster.

(2) A marriage contact in CH does not capture important bits about property, so that it is basically useless.

My potential spouse and I are in love yada yada, but we are also realistic that 50% of marriages get divorced nowadays. If it does not work out, we'll probably be agreeing on a divorce, so there will be no quarrel.
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Old 24.11.2014, 18:13
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

Swiss marriage contracts regulate primarily property rights, i.e. who is entitled to what property that is brought into or gained during a marriage.

However, marriage contracts not only come into play in case of divorces but they can also be important:
- during the term of marriage in terms of liability for debts of your spouse;
- upon death of a spouse (since under Swiss law you separate property according to your matrimonial property arrangements and only the remaining part gets inherited).

So looking into marriage contracts does not equate with being pessimistic about the success of a marriage (you might simply be pessimistic about your spouse's life span or business savvy...)
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Old 18.02.2015, 12:21
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Re: Marriage contract useful?

I´ll be marrying soon in Basel and I´m looking forward to have a better idea of this Marriage contract.
All the information given was really useful but, any of you know where or with who can I go to elaborate the document?

Greetings!
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