Attorney in Costa Rica

The prenuptial agreement in Costa Rica ☎️ Family law firm.

Is there such a thing as a prenup agreement in Costa Rica?

There sure is!  Prenups are regulated by article 37 of the Costa Rican Family Code.  As a family attorney, I highly recommend prenup and postnuptial agreements.  Prenuptial agreements, commonly referred to as prenups, are legally binding contracts between individuals before they enter into marriage.  As the name suggests, a postnuptial agreement has the same effects but is done after the marriage.   We refer to these agreements as “Capitulaciones Matrimoniales” in Spanish.

What is a prenuptial agreement under Costa Rican Law?

All assets acquired during a common law or a civil marriage are considered marital assets, with a few exceptions given by law.  Our legal system establishes that they are to be split 50 – 50 once the common law union ends or in case of divorce.  With a prenuptial agreement in place, this rule is avoided, and assets get distributed, or not, in accordance with what the couple stipulates.  Usually, the agreement establishes that past, present, or future marital assets will belong to whoever owns them.  The other party forfeits any action and rights in relation to the other party´s assets.     Prenuptial agreements are contractual in nature and prove to be an effective way to regulate the patrimonial regime before or during marriage.  

What types of things can be regulated by a prenuptial agreement?

The postnuptial agreement, as well as prenuptial agreements, are used to regulate assets, making the contract patrimonial in nature. By a nuptial agreement, the couple can negotiate provisions on how the assets are to be allocated in case of divorce.  The prenup agreement can be general or specific to certain assets, such as shares, properties, vehicles, furniture, paintings, etc.  However, they can also address other topics such as the recognition of children. It’s important to note that a prenuptial agreement may not be used to negotiate alimony between spouses or child support. Additionally, it cannot be used to negotiate custody or visitation rights.

What requirements must be met for a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement?

These agreements must be done in front of a notary public and in a public deed.  You will both sign in the notary´s protocol, his special legal ledger granted to the notary by the State.  The prenuptial or postnuptial agreement must also be registered in the Public Registry.  These are essential requirements that must be met for the act’s legality.  

Dr. Christopher Pirie Gil.

Attorney in Costa Rica.

Contact Chris now.