Section 1. General Rules
Article 40. – Various Forms of Marriage Equivalent.
1) Marriage produces the same legal effects whatever the form according to which it has been celebrated.
2) No distinction shall be made as to whether the marriage has been concluded before an officer of civil status or according to the forms prescribed by religion or custom.
Article 41. – Consummation of Marriage.
The effects of marriage shall not depend on the real or presumed consummation of the marriage.
Article 42. – (1) Contract of Marriage.
1) The spouse may, before or on the date of their marriage, regulate by a contract the pecuniary effects of their marriage.
2) They may also specify in such contract their reciprocal rights and obligations in matters concerning their personal relations.
3) Such contracts shall not affect mandatory provisions of the law.
Article 43. – (2) Incapacity of Spouses.
1) The contract of marriage of a judicially interdicted person shall be of no effect unless it is entered into by the interdicted person himself and approved by the court.
2) A legally interdicted person shall not be subject to incapacity as regards the making of a contract of marriage.
Article 44. – (3) Forms of Contract.
A contract of marriage shall be of no effect unless made in writing and attested by four witnesses, two for the husband and tow for the wife.
Article 45. – (4) Deposit of Contract.
1) A copy of the contract of marriage shall be deposited in the court or with the office of civil status.
2) It may be freely consulted by any one of the spouses or by persons authorized by court or by any one of the spouses.
Article 46. – (5) Restrictions to Freedom of Contract.
1) The spouses shall not impose an obligation upon third parties by their contract of marriage.
2) The contract of marriage shall be of no effect where it simply refers to local custom, religion or lay of a country.
Article 47. – (6) Modifications to Contract of Marriage
1) Where the interest of the family so requires, the spouses may, be agreement, modify the terms of the contract of marriage and request the court for approval of such modifications.
2) The court may approve such modifications where it ascertains that it does not affect the interest of the family.
3) Where the modifications are approved by the court under Sub-Article (2) of this Article, a copy of the modified contract shall be deposited in the court or with the office of civil status.
Article 48. – (7) Legal Regime.
In the absence of contract of marriage or where the contract of marriage is not valid under the law, the following provisions shall apply.
Section 2. Personal Effects of Marriage
Article 49. – Respect, Support and Assistance.
1) The spouses owe each other respect, support and assistance.
2) The contract of marriage shall not derogate such rule.
Article 50. – Joint Management of Family. (1) General Rule.
1) The spouses shall have equal rights in the management of the family.
2) The spouses shall, in all cases, co-operate, to protect security and interest of the family to bring up and ensure the good behavior and education of their children in order to make them responsible citizens.
Article 51. – (2) Inability of One of the Spouses.
1) Where one of the spouses is under disability, absent abandons his family or is away or, for any other reason, is not in a position to give his consent, the other spouse shall alone carry out the duties mentioned in Article 50.
2) The spouses shall not agree to the contrary in the contract of marriage.
Article 52. – Children of previous Marriage.
1) Each of the spouses shall retain an exclusive right of decision in matters concerning the up bringing of children whom he had before the marriage.
2) Any agreement to the contrary shall be of no effect.
Article 53. – Cohabitation.
1) The spouses are bound to live together.
2) They shall have with one another the sexual relations normal in marriage unless these relations involve a risk of serious prejudicing their health.
3) Any agreement to the contrary shall be of no effect.
Article 54. – Determination of Residence.
The spouses shall jointly decide their common residence.
Article 55. – Separation by Agreement.
1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 53 (1) of this Code, the spouses may agree to live separately for a definite or indefinite period of time.
2) Any agreement made to this effect may be revoked at any time by one of the spouses provided that such revocation is not arbitrary.
Article 56. – Duty of Fidelity.
The husband and the wife owe fidelity to each other.
Section 3. Pecuniary Effects of Marriage
Article 57. – personal property of Spouses (1) property not acquired by Onerous Title.
The property which the spouses possess on the day of their marriage, or which they acquire after their marriage by succession or donation, shall remain their personal property.
Article 58. – (2) Property Acquired by Onerous Title.
1) Property acquired, by onerous title, by one of the spouses after marriage shall also be personal property of such spouse where such acquisition has been made by exchange for property owned personally, or with monies owned personally or derived from the sale of property owned personally.
2) The provisions of Sub-Article (1) of this Article shall apply only when the court, at the request of one of the spouses, has decided that the property thus acquired shall be owned personally by such spouse.
Article 59. – Administration of Personal Property (1) Principle.
1) Each spouse shall administer his respective personal property and receive the income thereof.
2) Each spouse may freely dispose of his personal property.
Article 60. – (2) Determination by Contract of Marriage.
1) It may be agreed in the contract of marriage that one of the spouse shall administer all or part of the personal property of the other spouse and that he may dispose of such property.
2) The spouse who is entrusted with the power of administering the property under Sub-Article (1) of this Article shall, at the request of the other spouse, submit an annual statement of accounts of the management of such property.
Article 61. – (3) Agency.
One of the spouse may freely entrust to the other spouse the administration of all or part of his personal property.
Article 62. – Common Property of Spouses.
1) All income derived by personal efforts of the spouses and from their common or personal property shall be common property.
2) All property acquired by the spouses during marriage by an onerous title shall be common property unless declared personal under Article 58 (2) of this Code.
3) Unless otherwise stipulated in the act of donation or will, Property donated or bequeathed conjointly to the spouses shall be common property.
Article 63. – Legal Presumption
1) All property shall be deemed to be common property even if registered in the name of one of the spouses unless such spouse proves that he is the sole owner thereof.
2) The fact that certain property is personal may not be set up by the spouse against third parties unless the latter knew or should have known such fact.
Article 64. – Income of Spouse(1) Normal Management.
1) Each spouse shall receive his earnings.
2) The spouses may deposit their respective earnings either in personal or joint bank account.
3) One of the spouses shall, at the request of the other spouse, render an account to the latter of the income received by him.
Article 65. – (2) Exception.
1) One of the spouses may freely give the other spouse a mandate to receive the income which is due to him.
2) The court may, at the request of one of the spouses, authorize such spouse to receive the income of the other spouse and to give receipt thereof.
3) Unless other laws provide otherwise, the court may also order the full or partial attachment of the income of either spouse.
Article 66. – Administration of Common Property.
1) Common property shall be administered conjointly by the spouse unless there is an arrangement which empowers one of them to administer all part of the common property.
2) Where one of the spouse is declared incapable, or is deprived of his right of property management or for any other reason is unable to administer the common property, the other spouse shall alone administer such common property.
Article 67. – Duty to give Notice.
The spouse who performs an act of management in respect of common property is duty bound to inform the other spouse thereof.
Article 68. – (1) Requisite of Agreement of Spouses
Unless provided otherwise by other laws, the agreement of both spouses shall be required to;
(a) Sale, exchange, rent out, pledge or mortgage or alienate in any other way a common immovable property to confer a right to third parties on such property;
(b) Sale, exchange, pledge or mortgage, or alienate in any other way, a common movable property or securities registered in the name of both spouses: the value of which exceeds five hundred Ethiopian birr.
(c) Transfer by donation of a common property the value of which exceeds one hundred Ethiopian birr, or money which exceeds such amount;
(d) Borrow or lend money exceeding five hundred Ethiopian birr or to stand surety for a debt of such amount to another person.
Article 69. – (2) Absence of Agreement.
1) Where one of the spouses has entered into obligations in violation of the provision of the preceding Article, the court may, at the request of the other spouse, revoke such obligations.
2) An application for cancellation may not be made six months after the day on which the other spouse came to know the existence of such obligation, or, in any case, two years after such obligation is entered.
Article 70. – Debts of Spouses.
1) Debts due by one spouse may be recovered on the personal property of the indebted spouse, and in the absence of such personal property, it may be recovered on the common property.
2) Where the dept is incurred in the interest of the household, it shall be deemed to be joint and several debt of both spouses and may be recovered on the common property and on the personal property of either of the spouses.
Article 71. – Debts in the Interest of Household.
The following debts shall be deemed to be debts incurred in the interest of the household:
(a) Debts incurred to fulfill the livelihood of the spouses and their children:
(b) Debts incurred in order to fulfill an obligation of maintenance to which both the spouses or one of them is bound;
(c) Other debts which are acknowledged to be such by the court at the request of either of the spouses or the creditor.
Article 72. – Contribution to Household Expenses.
The spouses shall contribute to the household expenses in proportion to their respective means.
Article 73. – Contracts Between Spouses.
Contracts entered into between spouses during marriage shall be of no effect unless approved by the court.