What is community property?

When marrying, you will automatically have community property, unless you draw up a marriage contract providing for separation of property. All property acquired before and during marriage is treated as community property.

The community property becomes effective on marriage and ceases on separation, divorce, or death. Many people believe that community property means sharing ownership of all property during the marriage. However, this is not the case. On the contrary, it means sharing equally your respective net property (your shares of the community property) in case of dissolution of your marriage, provided the shares are positive. A spouse’s negative net property is not to be shared.


Consequences of community property during marriage

As spouses, you still own any property brought into the marriage by each of you we well as any property acquired by each of you during the marriage. During marriage, you are each basically entitled to dispose freely of your own property. This means e.g. that a spouse may sell his or her car without the other spouse’s consent. However, there are certain exceptions in respect of your matrimonial home and household effects where a sale requires the other spouse’s consent.


Just like you dispose of your own property, you are also liable for your own debt. This means that if a spouse is in debt, the creditor may never demand that the other spouse pays the instalments on the debt. It is, however, a presupposed condition that the debt is incurred by one spouse only. If on the other hand, you have contracted the debt together, the creditor may generally demand payment from either of you. However, this does not apply to debts owed to the Danish Tax Authorities, as the spouses are liable for each other’s tax debts during marriage.


What happens when the community property ceases?

On dissolution of the community property due to legal separation, divorce or death, your respective net property (your individual shares of the community property) must be calculated.


This is ensured by evaluating your respective property (assets) and obtaining information about your debt (liabilities), all for the purpose of calculating your respective net property (your individual shares of the community property). A spouse’s positive share of the community property must be shared equally with the other spouse. However, a negative share of the community property is not to be shared.


If you do not wish to have community property during your marriage, you should consider drawing up a marriage contract providing for separation of property. You can choose to have separation of property for your respective property or any individual parts thereof. You can read more about separate property here

A marriage contract may be drawn up either before or after the time of marriage.


If you have any questions about community property or separate property, or if you require a free family check, please feel free to contact us on +45 7015 1000 or mail@70151000.dk.