The division of jointly acquired property between legal spouses is the most common type of dispute in legal practice. We do not recommend our clients to resolve issues related to the division of jointly acquired property on their own. Even with absolute confidence in the conscientiousness of the spouse, various reasons can turn the situation not in favor of one of the parties.
It is extremely important to use a legally competent approach to the situation in order to avoid possible mistakes. The key condition for winning a dispute over the division of property between legal spouses is to contact a qualified lawyer with extensive experience in this field. Lawyers are specialists in family law. Our employees are ready to provide high-quality legal assistance at a high professional level and help resolve any issues regarding the division of property between legal spouses.
What property is called jointly acquired and is subject to division?
Joint property refers to various material assets acquired by spouses for compensation during the period of their official marriage. Absolutely everything that the spouses bought during the marriage with joint money is their joint property. The concept of joint property includes:
- Money in any form or form, including bank deposits;
- Income received by husband and wife through labor or entrepreneurial activity;
- Profit received through intellectual activity;
- Pension and various benefits;
- Securities, including shares in capital and shares;
- and so on.
In this case, the fact in whose name this or that property was acquired does not matter. The division does not take into account which spouse contributed funds during the purchase. Also, the division is not affected by the fact whether the husband or wife was working at the time of purchase, which of them brought in income, and which was involved in raising children and running the household.
The rights in the division of this or that property are not affected by the fact who is its owner according to the available documents. Each spouse has equal rights in the use and disposal of joint property. Spouses have the right to independently conclude any transactions related to the turnover of property without the mandatory consent of the other party. The exception in this case is transactions related to real estate, or transactions that require mandatory registration and notarization. In such situations, transactions will require the notarized consent of the second participant, confirming his approval of the transaction.
Division of property is possible both during divorce and during a legal marriage. The possibility of dividing property is provided, with this fact secured by a written agreement reached in a peaceful manner. This agreement must be executed by a notary. If it is impossible to reach a settlement agreement, disputes are resolved in court.
Most often, the need to divide property arises as part of the termination of a marriage and joint household. The statute of limitations for such cases in accordance with current legislation is 3 years from the date of termination of the marriage. This means that for three years from the date of divorce, each spouse has the right to demand an equitable division from the second.
What property is not divided between spouses?
Property that is recognized by law as personal property that belongs only to one of the spouses is not subject to division. This includes any objects, money and material assets that a husband or wife owned before they entered into an official marriage. The opinion that all property acquired by a family during a legal marriage is community property is erroneous. The list of property that is not subject to division during marriage or after divorce includes:
- Any valuables that are received by a husband or wife under a gratuitous transaction. For example, if an apartment was transferred to a husband or wife on the basis of a gift agreement, or one of them received a car by inheritance, then these things belong only to the recipient. Property privatized to a specific person is also classified as personal.
- Anything of value acquired with proceeds from the sale of personal property. These things also do not belong to common property. However, it is extremely important to consult with an attorney as court decisions regarding this category of personal property are controversial.
- Personal belongings of a person. It is impossible to share personal clothing and shoes, receive a portion of jewelry and accessories, medicines, tools used at work, and so on. As for household appliances, in the vast majority of cases they are regarded as common property, since they ensure the interests of each family member. Unlike costume jewelry, jewelry and antiques are not personal property.
- Copyright and rights to the results of intellectual activity. The owner of these rights is the person who produced the particular creation. At the same time, income received in the process of publishing or introducing innovations can be shared.
Property that belongs to children or was acquired for the use of children is also not subject to division. This list includes clothing and shoes, musical instruments, sports equipment, books, and so on. This property is transferred to the spouse with whom the children will live, and does not provide for any compensation. This also includes cash deposits opened in the name of children.
How does separation occur if there is a prenuptial agreement?
If the spouses are legally married at the time of division of property, then the new property acquired by them after completion of the procedure also continues to be considered joint property. If a husband and wife express a desire to change the order of joint use of property acquired during the period of cohabitation, they can take advantage of the possibility of concluding a prenuptial agreement.
Contrary to popular belief, a prenuptial agreement or contract can be concluded not only before marriage, but also during its validity. This document determines the owner of any property that would otherwise be considered the common property of the spouses. For example, by concluding a prenuptial agreement, a husband and wife can determine what exactly will become the property of each of them.
The marriage contract is drawn up exclusively in writing. The content of the contract includes certain agreements that suit both participants in the marriage. Any marriage contract must be certified by a notary.
The procedure for dividing property between spouses during marriage or divorce
When dividing jointly acquired property, the participants in the marriage union will have to determine its immediate composition, clarify the value of the property, distribute shares among themselves and resolve related issues, including the procedure for transferring certain property values to one of the partners. In order to evaluate property, it is necessary to establish its value independently or with the help of independent specialists. In this case, the cost of the item upon purchase does not matter in the slightest; the fundamental value is the cost of the item at the time of division. Participants in a marriage union can independently agree with each other in order to establish a value that suits both of them for joint property that is subject to mandatory division. The optimal solution when disputes and conflicts arise is to contact a professional appraiser or use data on the market value of items of division for a specific period of time.
The easiest way to divide the property of the spouses is by concluding a settlement agreement without going to court. Firstly, in this way the time frame for divorce in court is significantly reduced. Secondly, the financial costs of accessing court services are also minimized. If a settlement agreement is concluded between husband and wife, an official document is drawn up in writing. This document requires mandatory certification by a notary and does not gain legal force without certification.
If you have questions about division during a legal marriage or divorce, contact BAA Legal Service for help. Our lawyers have extensive experience in resolving disputes over property owned by spouses. We know everything about personal and joint property, and we know how to find the optimal line of legal defense for each specific case. Lawyers are competent to provide a wide range of services in relation to property owned by spouses. Our specialists:
- Provide assistance in registering property for spouses.
- Determine premarital and personal property, draw up an inventory of jointly acquired property values.
- Draw up a settlement agreement in accordance with current legislation.
- Help in concluding a marriage contract.
- They support the consideration of cases on the division of property values at the time of marriage and upon its termination.
- Provide advice on the division of marital property, including mortgage real estate and joint debts.
- They form a strong evidence base for the trial.
- Contribute to the consideration of cases with minimal material and moral costs.
Make an appointment with a BAA Legal Service specialist in advance by calling 0799 97 777.