Women will benefit from property agreement before marriage

There have so many Hollywood stars signed the marriage contract before their wedding ceremony. This contract usually refers to various issues, but mainly to protect the huge fortune that "stars" have before getting married. The amendment of Law on Marriage and Family in 2000 plans to propose additional rules spouses have property rights agreement before marriage to protect private property and individual reduce the divorce dispute.

Before marriage, the pop princess Britney Spears had signed with her fiancé Kevin Earl Federline a marriage contract stating that if two people break up, then Kevin would not get any money from the $ 65 million asset that Britney had earned before the marriage. Sometime later, they divorced and in accordance with the contract, Kevin did not get any money from the huge fortune of his ex wife.

When Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner 86 years old, owned a totally up to $ 43 million assets, married 26-year-old model Crystal Harris, public suspected Crystal to be the "gold diggers".  Immediately, Crystal proved her love for the older husband by revealing the marriage contract between them stating that she would not be shared any of her husband property when he died.

Mr. Duong Dang Hue, Director of Criminal and Administrative Legislation Department under Ministry of Justice informed that current laws of most countries in the world regulated different property regimes (Matrimonial regimes by law or by way of prenuptial agreement). Even countries that were once in the legal system of socialist which maintained only legally matrimonial regimes have acknowledged marital property under the agreement. For example, the Australian Family Law, Family Code of Russia, Japanese Civil Code, Civil Code of France, Thailand Civil and Commercial Code, Cambodian Civil Code... all recognized that spouses may agree to establish property regime in a marriage, this agreement must be made before the marriage.

Vietnam current law recognizes only one regime of marriage property applies to all couples (legally matrimonial regimes). According to Mr. Duong Dang Hue: "This is a huge illogical of the current law. This regulation, on the one hand, is inconsistent with the principles stated in the Constitution and the Civil Code of the right of individual self-determination of his assets, on the other hand, does not meet the needs of couples with different asset status".

Mr. Duong Dang Hue gave examples of either the individual spouses who had children, owned a company or one of the two parties in the name of the property, real estate for others, while the divorce rate tended to increase, many couples found it necessary to have an agreement about property regime during the marriage, stating what is shared property and what is separate property.

But according to Mr. Tuong Duy Luong, Deputy Chief Justice Supreme People's Court, in practice, the divorce settlement used to give women many disadvantages when dividing assets. Many couples brought private property to share with each other but did not have a written agreement. Therefore, it would be difficult to determine which property belonged to husband or wife. Many wives did housework, raised children and spent money on that, while their husband worked and had his own salary so that the wife would be very vulnerable after divorce.

To solve this problem, the Law on amending and supplementing several articles of the Marriage and Family Law has added prenuptial agreement regulation of matrimonial regime, saying couples have the right to make property agreement before marriage. The case of married couples without the agreement shall continue to apply legal regime as normal. There are two options for this deal.

Option 01: The agreement must be in writing and be certified by competent authority for marriage registration in the civil status registers, marriage certificates or civil status book;

Option 2: The agreement must be in writing and signed by both parties (not notarized) and be certified by competent authority for marriage registration in the civil status registers, marriage certificates or civil status book

The problem is now that with traditional concept of marriage and family in Vietnam, will the wife or husband who recommends an agreement on the property before marriage make the other worry and doubt and affect family happiness?

Drafting Committee of the Law on amending and supplementing several articles of the Law on Marriage and Family informed that although this issue caused several worries, but most experts agreed that the preparation before marriage was a fair and progressive conduct. It would help to protect the private property of individuals. The engagement may strengthen yokefellow relationship, due to the fact that clear understanding about money and assets by each other would make marriages last longer. In addition, the property agreement before marriage is a commitment for a real and not-for-profit marriage. It would reduce the divorce dispute.