Marriage Pacts/­Partnership Agreements

Marriage pacts (marriage contracts) as well as corresponding contracts between registered partners (partnership contracts) have enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years, even though they do not have the same effectiveness in Austria as may be commonly assumed. In any case, according to the Austrian legal situation, it is not possible to make such comprehensive regulations that, for example, all economic and financial legal consequences of marriage or partnership would be completely excluded for any period of time. Matters of (perhaps also still unborn) children cannot be effectively contractually regulated from the outset. Nevertheless, such contracts do offer the possibility of making economic arrangements for the time during the marriage or partnership as well as their dissolution and, for example, to arrange for provisions for or the exclusion of mutual maintenance payments in the event of such a dissolution. Of course, it will be necessary to consider which regulations best correspond to the respective economic realities of both partners and their needs. In any case, it is certainly a good idea, before entering into a marriage, to deal with its legal consequences at least in outline and, if necessary, to seek advice, since marriage is conceived by general Austrian civil law (ABGB) as a contract in which two people legally share their lawful willingness to live in inseparable communion, to father and raise children and to assist one another. The same applies to registered partnerships.

There is also the possibility for companions, for example when creating joint assets, to make contractual provisions and to secure themselves in the event of a dissolution of their community. This often seems advisable, especially in view of the otherwise largely unregulated legal situation of the partners.

In any case, we are at your disposal for general advice on the economic consequences of marriage or partnership as well as the possibilities and usefulness of marriage and partnership contracts in specific cases and their preparation.