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Understanding Marriage Asset Regimes in Brazil: A Guide for US Citizens

Marriage Asset Regime in Brazil

If you are a US citizen considering marriage in Brazil, it’s important to understand the country’s matrimonial property regimes. These regimes determine how assets are divided between spouses during the marriage and in the event of a divorce. Here’s an easy-to-understand guide to help you navigate these options.

Types of Matrimonial Property Regimes

1. Partial Communion of Property (Comunhão Parcial de Bens)

This is the default regime in Brazil if no other agreement is made. In this regime:

Shared Assets: Any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered joint property, regardless of whose name is on the title or who paid for it.
Individual Assets: Assets acquired before the marriage and those received as gifts or inheritance during the marriage remain the individual property of the original owner.

This regime aims to ensure fairness by sharing the fruits of the marriage equally between both partners.

2. Universal Communion of Property (Comunhão Universal de Bens)

Under this regime, all assets owned by either spouse before the marriage and any assets acquired during the marriage are considered joint property. This means:

Shared Assets: Everything, including assets acquired prior to the marriage, is owned jointly by both spouses.
Exceptions: Specific exclusions can be made if a gift or inheritance explicitly states that it is to remain the property of only one spouse.

Choosing this regime requires a formal prenuptial agreement.

3. Separation of Property (Separação de Bens)

This regime must be chosen explicitly, except in certain mandatory cases (e.g., when one spouse is over 70 years old). Under this regime:

Individual Ownership: Each spouse retains ownership of their own property, both those acquired before and during the marriage.
Flexibility: Spouses can manage and dispose of their assets independently without requiring consent from the other.

This regime provides a clear division of property and is often preferred for those who wish to keep their financial affairs completely separate.

4. Final Participation in Acquisitions (Participação Final nos Aquestos)

This lesser-known regime combines elements of separation and communion.

During the marriage, each spouse owns their property individually. However, upon dissolution of the marriage:

Shared Assets: The increase in value of any property acquired during the marriage is divided equally.
Individual Management: Spouses can freely acquire and manage their property during the marriage.

This regime can be useful for couples who want independence during the marriage but fairness upon its dissolution.

How to Choose and Formalize a Regime

To select a property regime other than the default partial communion, you need to:

Discuss Options: Talk with your partner about which regime best suits your needs and circumstances.
Prenuptial Agreement: If choosing a regime other than the default, you must formalize your choice with a prenuptial agreement. This agreement must be signed before the marriage and registered with a notary public.

Legal Advice: Consider consulting a lawyer to ensure all legal formalities are properly handled and your agreement is enforceable.


Understanding the different matrimonial property regimes in Brazil is essential for US citizens planning to marry there. Whether you prefer sharing everything equally, maintaining complete financial independence, or a combination of both, Brazil offers a regime to suit your needs. Make sure to discuss your options with your partner and consult legal professionals to ensure your interests are protected.