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Marital Agreement in Russia

Briefly, a Marital Agreement (Rus. Брачный договор) can be defined as follows: an agreement of two individuals, implying the equality of both parties and expressing their interests. Either official spouses or affianced couples that are going to marry execute such an agreement. In this paper, all questions related with assuming, altering, or terminating their financial obligations and rights are prescribed. Let us figure out who should make such an agreement and why.


A marital agreement is an agreement that determines the property rights of those who have made their relationship legit by marriage. Not only are movable and immovable assets considered “property”; it also includes loan liabilities, so a property marital agreement should reflect all the nuances of different legal definitions.

In the section where the conditions of the marital agreement are prescribed, the following issues should be reflected in detail:

✅ mode of property usage;
✅ degree of disposing of marital property;
✅ rights and obligations to support each other financially;
✅ family expenses allocation;
✅ detailed description of the property each spouse shall receive after divorce.

However, the "lifelong contract" remains the possibility of terminating by mutual consent of the parties or by a court decision if one of the parties evades it. In the latter case, you will have to go through judicial process to terminate the agreement. If the document has an expiration date, then after that date, the agreement becomes not legally binding and in fact ends.


A marital agreement plays a crucial role after a divorce, since it spells out exactly how, in the current crisis situation, the marital property shall be divided between the spouses. This will insure against the automatic equal division if one of the parties profoundly disagrees with that option. In addition, the marital agreement can determine the use and inheritance of property that would be purchased in the future.

It is always up to the person whether to make a marital agreement, yet not for nothing is this document called a great accomplishment of law science. It would be best not to neglect it, since in difficult critical situations, it helps to easily resolve or prevent family property disputes. The more marital property family members have or the more grandiose and ambitious plans the future spouses have the more recommended it is for them to insure for the future. For a marital agreement can become a real financial “air bag” during a divorce. Reasonable people make a marital agreement guided solely by logic and common sense.

Lawyers have no doubts whether a marital agreement can save in a catastrophic situation for many "exes" when love and affection feelings go away and are replaced by hatred. The need to sign a marital agreement is due to the fact that it takes precedence over the Family Code. If the issues of former spouses’ property division reach the court, then first of all it will be guided by the marital agreement, and the law will recede into the background. This is very important in cases where the statutory procedure for dividing in half is, in fact, unfair.


The official procedure for creating a marital agreement prescribes that only persons who have reached the age of majority (i.e. 18 years) can sign this document. But the law, as an exception, allows the procedure at an earlier age in the case of proven emancipation.

In Russia, there is no difference between prenuptial and postnuptial agreement. One can sign it long before the official marriage or at any time of coupledom, throughout life. But the document becomes legally binding only from the time the marital relationship is registered in the registry office (ZAGS / ЗАГС).

A marital agreement is made on the initiative and by the mutual consent of the couple. It prescribes how the ex-spouses would divide the property in the event of a divorce. The agreements reached are recorded on paper, signed by both parties and notarized. One of the conditions for entering into such an agreement is that it must have three copies: 1st for the husband, 2nd for the wife, and 3rd for the notary.

The rules for making a marital agreement prescribe mandatory written execution. Additionally, the finished and already notarized paper requires registering with a real estate government agency if it contains the conditions for emerging, transferring, encumbering, and terminating of real estate ownership.

Here is the list of documents requiring for entering into a marital agreement:

☑ application from both spouses, duly executed;
☑ identification documents;
☑ marital agreement drafted;
☑ state fee receipt;
☑ in case the document contains conditions for marital real estate or received before concluding the agreement, then an extract from the official Record Book (Регистрационная книга) of the Unified State Register of Real Estate (Единый государственный реестр недвижимости) must be provided.

For a marital agreement, a general structure is recommended, consisting of three parts:

✔ introductory part, which contains the personal data of the parties, the date and place of signing the document, the concepts mentioned in the text;
✔ main part, which details all the terms and conditions in the agreement;
✔ final part;

The following conditions, inter alia, should be stipulated:

➡ rights and obligations for mutual financial support;
➡ algorithm for the division of marital property;
➡ any relationship within the family;
➡ liability in case of failure to comply with the agreement, etc.

The court may invalidate a marital agreement if it was incorrectly drawn up (i.e., it is a void transaction) or effectively challenged. A marital agreement is unenforceable if its content contradicts the laws in force in Russia. For example, if it contains rights and obligations that are expressly prohibited by the Civil Code or the law On Marriage and Family. In such cases, the document is rendered null and void. Another example is if the contract is sham.


One of the features of marital agreements is a clause that states: “the procedure for dividing property can only be prescribed for the spouses” (i.e., those in official relations). But the agreement may also cover property that they acquired jointly both prior to the agreement and prior to the marriage. That is, a marital agreement is not time-limited.

Moreover, the legal regulation can apply to all property or only to its individual parts, or even to some certain things. Most often this applies to real estate, a car and other large purchases.

Having been notarized, the agreement is actually ready if it does not regard the property the couple already owned. Otherwise, the marital agreement needs to be registered with the relevant state bodies dealing with real estate. This action entails serious legal consequences, so you do not want to neglect the registration.


A bilateral apartment marital agreement specifies in detail:

❕ the procedure for using housing purchased during the marriage;
❕ the conditions for the division of housing during a divorce;
❕ the loan responsibility share if the apartment was bought with a mortgage.

A mortgage marital agreement should be drawn up with the loan institution being notified. This is not required by law, but in the best interests of the spouses. In cases where some clauses in the contract are contrary to the mortgage terms, there is a high risk that the court will find the document invalid.

Reach out to us and you will know how much making a marital agreement would cost in your particular case. Typically, the cost of such an agreement includes a fixed price for legal advice and competent drafting of the document, as well as notary service remuneration.
Tel: +7 909 961-19-09
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