Parliament pushes for prenuptial agreements


According to NRC newspaper, the Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world where marriage takes place in a standard way under community property (joint ownership) rather than separate property. Drawing up a prenuptial agreement (the Dutch have surely heard that in American television series) costs money and sharing all your stuff is still considered the right thing to do here, someone please tell me why. A prenuptial agreement not only provides in case of divorce, but also protects property during the marriage in case of a bankruptcy or the likes. Don’t give me that it’s all about trust argument because most of the time in heterosexual marriages women get more than they brought in stuff-wise, a reason some women marry in the first place.

Putting aside gay marriage for a moment, women were traditionally dependent on men, and so community property made sense. The politicians who submitted this proposal to parliament to have the rules changes feel married people should have more say in their own marriages like the rest of the Western world, and parliament agrees.

(Link:, Photo of Wedding cake by philipyk, some rights reserved)


  1. In Québec the standard is also joint ownership and you have to go to the notary to change that. And even then, after a divorce, the house (and cottage if available), car, furniture, pension plans etc all have to be divided equally between the ex-partners.

    So marrying a millionaire is very attractive here. Too bad there aren’t that many.

    Comment by mare — November 24, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  2. You surely know more than I do:

    But it’s nowhere near the same as in NL.

    Comment by Orangemaster — November 24, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

  3. Don’t believe everything you read on Wikipedia. It’s not optional in Québec:

    But I was wrong that Community of Property is the default case, just that the Family Patrimony above overrides any other legal agreements you might have made.

    Comment by mare — November 24, 2010 @ 3:07 pm

  4. Erm… if you don’t want to own your property in common, why would you get married? You can always just live together, or just have sex, or a whole bunch of other options.

    Comment by Dominic Cronin — November 24, 2010 @ 11:59 pm

  5. […] get weird is in relationships. The default Dutch marriage setting is that of community property (for now). The state sees a marriage as a contract between the state and two people. When the partners […]

    Pingback by 24 oranges » Dutch working mothers are paid less than working fathers — June 16, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

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