2 Is there a statutory matrimonial property regime and if so, what does it provide?

2.1. Please describe the general principles: Which goods are part of community property? Which goods are part of the separate estates of the spouses?

The statutory matrimonial property regime in Denmark is the deferred community of property. Everything the spouses own at the time they enter into marriage or acquire later on becomes a part of their joint property. However, the spouses may agree not to apply the legal rules on their property and conclude a full or partial agreement on separate property (see under 3.1.). A person making a gift or a testator may also decide that the gift or inheritance shall not be a part of joint property.

In default of an agreement stipulating otherwise, the joint property does not cover non-transferable rights and rights of a personal type, such as certain forms of copyrights and personal goodwill related to business activities.

Besides, on division of property in case of divorce or legal separation each spouse keeps his/her fair pension rights. If the marriage has only lasted for a short period of time, the spouses keep all of their pension rights. (Act on the Legal Effects of Marriage, §§ 15, 16, 16 a and Chapter 4)

2.2. Are there legal assumptions concerning the attribution of property?

See question 2.1.

2.3. Should the spouses establish an inventory of assets? If so, when and how?

Normally it is sufficient to draft a list of assets which are subject to an agreement on separate property.

2.4. Who is in charge of the administration of the property? Who is entitled to dispose of the property? May one spouse dispose of/administer the property alone or is the consent of the other spouse necessary (e.g. in cases of disposal of the spouses’ home)? What effect does the missing consent have on the validity of a legal transaction and on opposability towards a third party?

In principle, each spouse may administer freely the assets he/she brought into the marriage, as well as the assets he/she has acquired during the marriage. However, if these assets form part of the joint property, he/she must deal with them in a responsible way. (Act on the Legal Effects of Marriage, §§ 16-17) A spouse cannot, without the consent of the other spouse, dispose of or mortgage real property which is part of the joint property, if such real property is used as the family's residence or if it is related to the spouses' business. Also, a spouse may not dispose of, pledge or mortgage household goods in the spouses' joint dwelling, the other spouse's necessary work tools or goods used by the children for their personal needs, if they form part of the joint property (§ 19 Act on the Legal Effects of Marriage). If a spouse refuses to allow such disposals, the regional state administration may allow the disposal, if there is no reasonable ground for refusal.

If the above-mentioned property is disposed of without consent or permission, then the non-consenting spouse may have the disposal annulled in court, if the third party knew or should have known that the disposing spouse was not entitled to such disposal. (Act on the Legal Effects of Marriage, § 16 and §§ 18-20)

2.5. Are any legal transactions made by one spouse also binding on the other?


2.6. Who is liable for debts incurred during the marriage? Which property may be used by creditors to satisfy their claims?

A spouse shall be liable for his/her obligations arising during or prior to the marriage with his/her portion of the joint property and with his/her separate property. For recovery of the spouses' joint debts, the creditor can use the joint property and the spouses' separate property. (Act on the Legal Effects of Marriage, § 25)