Austria’s divorce law and its matrimonial property regime is enshrined in the Austrian civil code. The principle of the separation of property applies throughout the period of marriage. Each spouse acquires a property for themselves, they are free to deal with property during the marriage as they choose, and are not responsible for each other’s debts.
That naturally can produce very uneven outcomes at the point a marriage breaks down. Therefore Austrian law looks at what value is accrued during the course of the marriage.
That means that assets acquired between separation and divorce are not included in those potentially available for division. Also at present there is a problem if pensions are substantially unequal.
The Court has a wide discretion within those guidelines. However almost all matters are dealt with by mutual consent, naturally with negotiations taking place within the guidelines of the law. Fault can play a role, making Austria slightly unusual in that respect. Pre-marital contracts are also frequently used although they are by no means as common as in countries like Germany.
We are specialist divorce lawyers and family solicitors and we have advised clients who are either UK–based but originate from Austria, or are living in Austria but have a connection with England or Wales.
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