New Family Code and Prenuptial Agreements

New Family Code substantially amends the family property system (it allows the conclusion of the marriage contract, the regulation of the family property system according to the partners’ wishes), brings simplified marriage celebration and divorce, it aims at amicable dispute resolution in family matters etc.

The main change the Family Code (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, no. 15/17, hereinafter DZ) brings and which is probably the most important for the partners, especially in the light of an increasing number of conflicts in case of divorce and dissolution of the lifelong union/partnership, is possibility to determine the rights in property arising out of relationship between the spouses/cohabiting partners/civil partners. In effect, the partners may agree on the property rights to assets acquired during the marriage/partnership as well as the family property system. They may do so in the marriage contract (also known as a prenuptial agreement) which has to take the form of an enforceable notarial act and is entered into the marriage contracts register. This contract may be concluded prior to the commencement of the partnership, while ongoing and after the divorce / dissolution of the partnership.

Statutory family property system between the spouses is therefore no longer mandatory but applies only if the spouses do not agree otherwise in the contract. Thus, the spouses may agree that only one of them shall manage and/or use the entire or part of their shared property, taking into account also the interests of the other spouse. The possibility to enter into agreement in advance should substantially simplify the resolution of the property disputes between the spouses.

To avoid additional judicial disputes in case of the divorce DZ provides the additional possibility for the spouses to divorce before the notary public in the form of the notarial act (if they do not have children in common). It is therefore no longer required for the court to decide on these cases. Furthermore, DZ no longer requires solemn and public celebration of marriage as a duty but allows more options for the celebration of marriage outside the register office, in various ways etc. (without witnesses, only before the superintendent registrar).

Moreover, new DZ places greater importance on the amicable dispute resolution between the couples regardless of the type of partnership they live in. To this end, DZ introduces the institution of the obligatory preliminary consultation before the judicial resolution of the dispute between the couples concerning their relationship and relationship to their children, which shall be provided by the social work centres (CSD). The purpose of this institution is to dissuade the couples in advance from the judicial proceedings, to mend family relations and to reach the agreement on the consequences of the dissolution of their partnership and/or to regulate their relationship to children.

The new DZ brings significant changes in the matters of parental responsibility, protection of the interests of the child, measures for the protection of the interests of the child, establishing parentage etc. For all the other changes and explanations in relation to the amendments to the DZ, you can contact our office.

DZ entered into force already on 15 April 2017, but its application was postponed for two years as of entering into force, because of entirely new rules regarding some institutions of the family law and transfer of the majority of competences from the social work centres (CSD) to the courts. Some provisions (concerning the celebration of marriage) apply since 1 January 2018, but DZ will apply in full as of 15 April 2019.

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