Matrimonial Law, includes all legal rules which refer to the contents, marriage and dissolution of marriage as well as to the relationship between the spouses (especially provisions concerning names and matrimonial property provisions). Main sources of public marriage law are the Marriage Act of 1938 and the ABGB (General Civil Code). According to these sources marriage is a contract between two parties of different sex who are willing to live in inseparable life relationship, to have children, to bring them up and to support each other. The Marriage gives rise to the same personal rights and obligations for both spouses. The basic principles of marriage, namely the obligation of full relationship and of immaterial and material mutual aid, are binding law while arrangements concerning housekeeping, jobs and joint residence are subject to agreement between the spouses. Since January 1, 1995 the spouses have been given the choice between bearing one and the same surname (which has to be the current surname of one of the spouses; the one whose name has not been chosen has the right to use her/his current surname, placing it before or after the married name) or keeping their respective former surnames. Austrian matrimonial law provides for the separation of property as the normal property regime, that is to say each spouse remains the owner of everything she/he has brought into the marriage and will be the sole owner of everything she/he aquires. Departures from this statutory regime require an agreement concluded before a notary public. Dissolution of the marriage requires a court decision in response to the petition of one or both of the spouses (decree of nullity, dissolution or Divorce). Grounds of nullity are formal defects and lack of legal capacity at the time of marriage, nominal marriage and marriage for the purpose of acquiring citizenship, re-marriage in case of incorrect declaration of death and mala fides of both spouses, lineal consanguinity and collateral consanguinity up to the second degree, and bigamy. Grounds for annulment are lack of consent on the part of the statutory guardian in the case of spouses with limited capacity, mistake, wilful deception and duress, re-marriage in case of incorrect declaration of death and bona fide on the part of one of the spouses. There are various types of grounds for divorce: divorce on grounds of guilt (adultery, refusal to procreate, breach of marital duties), other grounds of divorce (mental illness, infectious diseases, repellent diseases, dissolution of the joint household) and divorce by mutual consent.
Literature#H. Koziol and R. Welser, Grundriss des buergerlichen Rechts, vol. 2, 91991.