the Chamber adopts the reform of the civil code

The chamber approved Thursday in plenary session a bill of the CD&V reforming the civil code in terms of “couple’s patrimonial relations“and introducing a book 4”inheritances, donations and wills“.

This text was drawn up in the context of the reform of the civil code brought about by the former Minister of Justice Koen Geens (CD&V) under the previous legislature. Its ambition was to modernize legislation that had hardly been changed since 1804, then known as the ‘Code Napoléon’. The bill voted on Thursday does not therefore aim to modify the legal provisions in force, but to recodify existing legislation.

“Wedding convention”

However, the reform was the subject of several remarks, both from the Council of State and from the Data Protection Authority (DPA), forcing the legislator to make several amendments. The text therefore returned to the House in the form of a bill brought by Koen Geens. To do this, the expertise of Hélène Casman, honorary notary, ordinary professor emeritus at the Universities of Brussels (VUB and ULB) and professor at the University of Ghent (UGent) was requested.

The text notably introduces the term “marriage convention“, or the name now given to the contract by which the spouses determine the matrimonial regime they wish to adopt or modify. This can be modified at any time by notarial deed.


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The PTB and the cdH abstained. Nabil Boukili (PTB) considered that this complex text “keeps the citizen away from the law“. Vanessa Matz (cdH) for her part blasted a”all to exaggerated individualism“.

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