If spouses have not concluded a matrimonial property contract, a matrimonial community property regime exists between them by law.
Assets included in the community property regime (common property) may be used as intended by either spouse. Costs of maintaining and managing assets in the common property are primarily paid from the common property. Over the duration of the community property regime, spouses may dispose of their common property either jointly or with the consent of the other spouse. The spouse who enters into a contract against the common property is liable for any debt arising from the contract concluded with a third party with his/her separate estate or his/her share of the common property.
In justified cases, at the request of either spouse, the court may dissolve the community property regime during the marital union. Such justified cases include, for example, where a spouse accumulated significant debts without the consent of the other spouse.
In the case of a matrimonial community property regime, the common property of spouses includes all the assets jointly or separately acquired by the spouses over the duration of the community property regime. The common property of spouses includes encumbrances on joints assets and, unless otherwise provided for in the Civil Code, spouses are jointly liable for debts arising from any obligation assumed by either spouse over the duration of the community property regime. Spouses are entitled to their common property in an undivided manner and in equal shares. The common property excludes assets, encumbrances and debts considered to be included in a separate property.
The law provides an exhaustive list of assets included in a separate property. A separate property includes, for example, assets existing at the time of the establishment of the matrimonial community property regime, assets inherited by or gifted to either spouse over the duration of the matrimonial community property regime, assets acquired from the value of the separate property or valuables replacing the separate property.
Date of the case description: 27/05/2020
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Act V of 2013 on the Civil Code: Sections 4:34 to 4:62