Marital Regime in Portugal

Understand the different types of marital regime in Portugal. Also information on laws relating to divorce, nationality and same-sex unions...

There are four kinds of marital regime (regime de bens) available in Portugal. The default system is marriage in community of property (Comunhão de adquiridos). Pre-nuptial agreements should be drawn up to alter this in any way.

  1. Community of property (Comunhão geral): All property brought to the marriage and acquired during the marriage is communal. This marital regime cannot be chosen if one or both of the marrying parties already has children.
  2. "Acquired" community of property (Comunhão de adquiridos): only goods and property acquired after the marriage are communal.
  3. Out of community of property (Separação geral de bens): The law imposes this marital regime when one or both of the couple are aged sixty or more.
  4. Other: Portuguese law allows couples to choose their own marital regime, or combine certain characteristics of the three above.

For comprehensive information on marital regimes in Portugal see the Portuguese-language website of the Registry Office (Instituto dos Registos e Notariado)


Following a divorce, men must wait 180 days before they may remarry and women must wait 300 days.


Foreign citizens do not acquire Portuguese nationality when marrying a Portuguese citizen. However they may apply for Portuguese citizenship after three years of marriage.

Applications can be made at the Central Registry Office (Conservatória dos Registos Centrais)

  • Conservatória dos Registos Centrais
    : Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca 198, 1294 Lisbon
    Tel: 213 817 600
    Fax: 213 817 699

Same-Sex Marriage

In 2010 Portugal became the sixth country in Europe to allow same-sex marriage. It gives the couple the same legal rights as heterosexual couples regarding taxes, inheritance, and rights to property. A legal gay marriage performed in another country is recognised in Portugal.

The law does not permit same-sex married couples to adopt children as a couple and a legal adoption performed in another country may not be recognised in Portugal (the individuals retain a right to adopt).

The marriage documents required and process for marriage are the same as any civil wedding. For useful information see website (in Portuguese).

Further Information

The Consular Offices of most Embassies are able to help their nationals with much of the documentation required in the preparation of a wedding in Portugal.