What to include in a marriage contract

In Russia, marriage contracts are gaining popularity - for a year their number has grown by half. Galina Pavlova, Managing Partner, told Kommersant about what such document actually protects from and in what cases it can be challenged.

According to the Federal Chamber of Notaries, the number of marriage contracts in Russia has grown by one and a half times. Last year, notaries certified 72 thousand such contracts, while in 2015 - 47 thousand. "Citizens began to understand that the marriage contract is a good mechanism for protecting the rights of spouses and the interests of the family," - the Сhamber comments.

Elena Ovchinnikova, Head of the Family Disputes Department at Borodin&Partners, sees the increasing legal literacy of the population as the main reason for the trend. Galina Pavlova, Managing Partner at Pavlova&Partners, considers as the reason the desire to secure property in case of divorce, and amendments to the legislation that enable the bankruptcy of citizens. Andrey Gusev, Managing Partner in Russia of Borenius, Finnish law firm, notes that the heirs of significant fortunes have now approached marriage age, and their prudent parents are trying to protect the assets "from romantic flightiness of their beloved child".

However, marriage contracts for Russia are still rare: annually only 4-5% of couples sign such contracts. An insignificant figure in comparison with Europe and United States, where marriage contracts are concluded in 70% of cases. But if in the West the institution of marriage contract exists for more than 100 years, in our country the possibility of concluding a contract between spouses for the ownership of property was mentioned in 1994 in Art. 256 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, and a separate chapter on that matter appeared in the Family Code only in 1996.

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Ирина Кошечкина