Property sharing cases refer to the legal process of how the assets acquired by spouses during their marriage should be divided after divorce. In property sharing cases, it is important to determine which property regime the spouses were subject to. The properties and debts subject to property sharing may vary depending on the property regime applicable between the spouses. Before January 1, 2022, marriages were subject to the regime of separate property, meaning that each spouse owned their own property individually. However, for marriages occurring after January 1, 2002, the legal regime of marital property acquired during the marriage is applied. Under this regime, the properties acquired by each spouse in their own name during the marriage are considered marital property, and in the event of a divorce, the other spouse has a claim to a share of that property. The share is typically half of the increase in the value of the other spouse’s marital property. Spouses can choose a different property regime through a prenuptial agreement, in which case the rules of the selected regime apply.
The property regime is an agreement that determines the rules for managing, using, and sharing the assets of spouses during their marriage. Spouses can establish a property regime agreement before or after marriage with a notary public. If no such agreement is made, they are subject to the default legal regime, which is the regime of marital property acquired during the marriage.
Default Legal Regime
Under this regime, the assets each spouse owned before marriage are considered personal property and are not subject to sharing. The assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property and are divided equally in the event of divorce.
Separate Property Regime
If spouses choose the separate property regime, each spouse retains ownership of the assets registered in their name and is not required to share them in case of divorce. However, if one spouse has contributed to the other spouse’s assets, they can claim a contribution share.
Shared Separate Property Regime
If spouses choose the shared separate property regime, each spouse owns half of the assets registered in their name, and in the event of divorce, they are obligated to give half of their assets to the other spouse.
Joint Property Regime
If spouses choose the joint property regime, their personal assets are combined, creating joint ownership. In case of divorce, these assets are shared equally.
A property sharing case must be filed within 10 years after the finalization of the divorce decision. The competent court for property sharing cases is the Family Court. Property sharing cases must be filed separately after divorce proceedings. To enable property sharing, a separate case must be initiated. The judge will examine the evidence presented and the financial situations of the parties during the case and make a decision on how the assets should be divided.
Some important points to consider in property sharing cases include:
When filing a property sharing case, it should be specifically stated and not as an indefinite debt claim. The value of the case should be determined, and the necessary fees should be paid. If the fees are insufficient, the judge may grant an extension for the payment.
A property sharing case cannot be filed simultaneously with a divorce case. In cases where a property sharing case is filed together with a divorce case, the court considers the finalization of the divorce case as a prerequisite for the property sharing case. In other words, an uncontested or contested divorce case should be completed first before filing a property sharing case.
Property sharing cases have a statute of limitations of 10 years starting from the date of the final divorce judgment. Cases filed after this 10-year period will be rejected due to the statute of limitations.
In property sharing cases, the party claiming ownership of a property must provide concrete evidence to support their claim. It should be considered that during divorce proceedings, spouses may take measures to protect their rights, such as concealing assets.
In cases of death, if there is household property or a shared residence among the deceased’s assets, the surviving spouse may want to take ownership of them. However, in exchange, they may need to waive their inheritance and distribution rights or make up the difference. Additionally, under justifiable circumstances, the surviving spouse or other heirs may be granted a right of use or residence instead of ownership. The surviving spouse cannot gain ownership of the deceased spouse’s business or agricultural properties using this right.