June 06, 2024

The importance of prenuptial agreements: how to conclude them and what they should contain


Prenuptial agreements, while often considered a taboo subject, can be a crucial tool for ensuring financial stability and transparency in a marriage. According to the Family Act of the Republic of Croatia, the term “prenuptial agreement” is actually not correct, because such contracts are called “marriage contracts”. A marriage contract is a legal document that spouses conclude to regulate their property relations, and can include property acquired before and during the marriage.

Matrimonial property

One of the key terms in the context of marriage contracts is matrimonial property. According to Article 36. of the Family Act, matrimonial property is property acquired by the spouses through work during the marital union or which originates from such property. Winnings from games of chance are also considered marital property, as well as the property benefit from copyrights obtained during the marital union. On the other hand, each spouse’s own property includes property owned by each of them prior to the marriage, as well as property acquired by inheritance, gift or other means not related to work during the marriage.

What can be regulated by a marriage contract

The marriage contract gives the spouses the freedom to regulate their property relations in detail. This contract can regulate the division of real estate, shares in companies, shares, loan payments, and other property rights and obligations. A marriage contract can regulate property relations on existing or future property. Also, according to third parties, articles on the management or disposal of property have legal effect only if they are entered in the relevant public registers.

Form of marriage contract

In order for a marriage contract to be valid, it must be concluded in writing and the signatures of the spouses must be certified by a notary. A contract concluded in this way ensures legal protection and clarity in the event of any disputes. Certification by a notary public also confirms the authenticity of the signature and the will of the parties to conclude the contract.


A marriage contract is not only a legal document but also an instrument that allows the spouses to agree and secure their property relations in advance, thus reducing the possibility of disagreements and legal problems in the future. A properly drafted and certified marriage contract can significantly contribute to stability and transparency in a marriage, protecting the interests of both spouses. It is always advisable to consult a contract and property lawyer when drafting and concluding a marriage contract to ensure that all legal provisions are complied with.

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