Prenuptial Agreement in Brazil

Prenuptial agreements have gained significant attention globally for their ability to offer financial clarity and security in marriages. Brazil is no exception.

A prenuptial agreement, also known in Brazil as a “pacto antenupcial” or “acordo pré-nupcial”, is a legal contract formed between two parties before they enter a marriage. This contractual agreement establishes a set of terms that will govern the marriage relationship. It can cover an array of aspects, from the economic conditions of the marital union to specific cohabitation rules.

The primary focus of a prenuptial agreement is often on economic matters. It addresses financial matters mainly linked to property separation when the couple wishes to adapt the legal regime of marital assets according to their unique circumstances.

By understanding the legal formats of marital regimes available in Brazil, couples can make well-informed decisions that help prevent future financial disagreements and difficulties.

Legal Framework

Brazilian law recognizes four principal types of marital regimes:

Communion of Property (Comunhão Universal de Bens):

  • Characteristics: Under this regime, all assets, irrespective of when they were acquired—before or during the marriage—are collectively owned by both spouses.
  • Legal Implications: This means that any financial gains or debts incurred by either spouse are effectively shared, posing both benefits and risks depending on the financial responsibility and goals of both parties.

Partial Communion of Property (Comunhão Parcial de Bens):

  • Characteristics: In this common Brazilian modality, only assets acquired after the marriage are shared between the spouses.
  • Legal Implications: Assets that either spouse brings into the marriage remain separate and individual. This can be beneficial if one party has significant debts or financial obligations prior to the marriage, as those would not be shared.

Separate Property (Separação de Bens):

  • Characteristics: Each spouse maintains individual ownership over all assets, whether acquired before or during the marriage.
  • Legal Implications: This regime provides the most financial independence for each spouse but can be more complicated when it comes to joint financial ventures like purchasing a home. It’s commonly required in marriages where one of the spouses is over 70 years old.

Participation in Acquests (Participação Final nos Aqüestos):

  • Characteristics: This is a hybrid regime that allows for separate property during the marriage but shares the assets acquired during the union upon its termination.
  • Legal Implications: This could be advantageous for those who want to maintain financial independence during the marriage but share in the growth of marital assets should the relationship end.

Each of these regimes carries unique advantages and disadvantages, making it crucial for couples to consider their financial goals, individual circumstances, and future uncertainties before deciding on a particular marital regime.

The prenuptial and the Separate Property regime

The concept of Separate Property, or “Separação de Bens,” finds its roots in the Brazilian Civil Code, specifically Articles 1,687 to 1,688. This marital regime facilitates a complete division of assets, enabling each spouse to maintain individual financial sovereignty throughout the duration of the marriage.

Under the Separate Property regime, each spouse is endowed with absolute financial independence. Not only do both parties maintain full control over assets and liabilities acquired before the marriage, but they also retain this control for those acquired during the marriage. This construct is unique in its provision of unparalleled financial autonomy, a quality that makes it highly attractive under certain circumstances.

Benefits of Opting for Separate Property

Asset Protection for Business Owners:

  • Business owners can separate their enterprise’s financial dealings from the marital estate, thereby reducing the potential impact of marital dissolution on their business.
  • Legal Implication: Articles 1,687 and 1,688 of the Brazilian Civil Code provide that business assets are not subject to division, ensuring that the integrity of the business remains intact.

Asset-Liability Management for Affluent Couples:

  • For couples where both parties have substantial assets or liabilities, a Separate Property regime eliminates the complexity of jointly managing these financial portfolios.
  • Legal Implication: The legal provisions offer each spouse the autonomy to manage their financial affairs independently, thereby minimizing potential conflicts or disagreements.

Inheritance Planning for Blended Families:

  • For couples with children from previous marriages, the Separate Property regime provides the opportunity to designate specific assets for inheritance without the constraints of communal ownership.
  • Legal Implication: This regime allows for more tailored estate planning, as parents can allocate assets to their children from previous relationships without the fear of these assets being subjected to marital division.

The prenuptial agreement must undergo a series of formal procedures to attain legal validity. Initially, it has to be crafted as a public deed at a notary office.

Subsequently, the agreement needs to be registered at the Civil Registry of Natural Persons in the jurisdiction where the marriage is to be solemnized. Finally, for comprehensive legal efficacy, it must also be recorded at the Property Registry Office in the city where the couple intends to establish their first residence.

If you are looking to get more information about prenuptial agreements in Brazil, feel free to reach out.


Brazilian Civil Code, Articles 1,687-1,688.

Silva, R. A. (2018). “The Prenuptial Agreement in Brazilian Law: A Comparative Analysis.” Journal of Comparative Law, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 250-265.

Tepedino, G. (2016). “The Evolution of Family Law in Brazil: An Overview.” International Family Law Journal, vol. 3, pp. 98-112.

Medeiros, A. (2021). “Asset Protection and Marital Agreements in Brazil.” Family Law Quarterly, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 35-50.

Dias, M. B. (2019). “Brazilian Family Law: Trends and Paradigms.” Revista de Direito Civil, vol. 11, pp. 110-125.

Freitas, L. R. (2020). “Prenuptial Agreements and Brazilian Law.” Revista de Direito de Família e das Sucessões, vol. 21, pp. 165-180.

Brazilian Code of Civil Procedure, Articles 731-735 (for notarial and procedural requirements).

“Manual of Notary Practices in Brazil” by the National College of Notaries.

Superior Court of Justice (STJ) decisions, searchable through their official website, focusing on family law cases related to marital property regimes.

“Matrimonial Property Regimes in Brazil: A Practical Guide” by Carlos A. Formento (2020).

Conselho Nacional de Justiça (CNJ) reports and publications on family law matters.

Costa, A. S. (2017). “The Intersection of Family Law and Business Law in Brazil.” Business Law Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 200-215.


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Dr. Mauricio Ejchel

Lawyer in Brazil

Dr. Mauricio Ejchel is a highly qualified international lawyer based in São Paulo, Brazil. He graduated from the Law School of the Catholic University of São Paulo and holds a postgraduate degree in International Relations. In 1995, Dr. Ejchel was admitted to the Brazilian Bar Association and went on to establish MF Ejchel International Advocacy in 1996.

As a well-known commentator on legal matters, Dr. Ejchel is an expert in family law, international divorce, and Hague child abduction cases. He has appeared on several Brazilian TV networks and is a columnist for Radio Justice, affiliated with the Brazilian Supreme Court. Dr. Ejchel’s in-depth knowledge of international legal affairs has earned him a reputation as a respected authority in the field.

Dr. Ejchel is also a prolific writer, having authored numerous legal articles in both Portuguese and English. His steadfast dedication to safeguarding the interests of his clients has earned him a reputation as an accomplished and proficient barrister in Brazil.

With over 27 years of legal experience, Dr. Ejchel provides strategic counseling, directs mediation, and manages complex cases. He has contributed to legal cases in several countries and provided expert opinions in foreign courts. Dr. Ejchel’s dedication to protecting the interests of his clients is at the core of his legal practice. He believes that realization is based on a deep understanding of the law, navigating the Judiciary, awareness of his client’s needs, and a dedication to providing legal services.