1 Which law applies?

1.1. Which law is applicable to a couple´s property? Which criteria/rules are used to determine the applicable law? Which international conventions have to be respected with regard to certain countries?

The spouses’ matrimonial property regime and their marriage contracts are governed by the common national law of the spouses at the time of marriage. If they do not have a common nationality, the law of the country of their common habitual residence at the time of marriage is applicable. If they do not have a common habitual residence either, the applicable law is the law of the country where the married couple first resides (Art. 53 Portuguese Civil Code (CC)).

1.2. Do the spouses have the option of choosing the applicable law? If so, by which principles is this choice governed (e.g. the laws to be chosen, formal requirements, retro-activity)?

No, the spouses may not choose the applicable law (Art. 1718 CC).