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PARTICIPATION IN MARITAL ASSETS

When a marriage is dissolved, property issues often arise between the spouses. In cases of disagreement, one of the spouses may file a lawsuit in the competent court claiming participation in the acquired assets. The court examines each case separately, taking into account various factors. Therefore, it is quite difficult to predict what the court will decide, but it is important to know your legal rights and what you could claim.


According to Article 1400 of the Civil Code:


If the marriage is dissolved or annulled and the property of one spouse has increased since the marriage, the other spouse, provided they contributed in any way to this increase, is entitled to claim the portion of the increase that derives from their own contribution. It is assumed that this contribution amounts to one third of the increase, unless a greater or lesser contribution or no contribution is proven.

The preceding paragraph applies analogously in the case of separation of spouses lasting more than three years.

In the increase of the spouses' property, whatever they acquired through donation, inheritance, or bequest, or by disposal of assets from these causes, is not taken into account.

PARTICIPATION IN MARITAL ASSETS

Based on the above article of the Civil Code, the conditions for claiming participation in acquired assets are:

  • Dissolution/annulment of marriage/civil partnership or separation of spouses lasting more than three years,

  • Increase of the property of one of the spouses during the marriage,

  • Contribution of the other spouse to the increase in any way. What is considered a contribution to the increase of the property?


Contribution can be either direct or indirect. Direct contribution is considered the material contribution, meaning the provision of capital or labor to the business of the other spouse, resulting in its economic development. Indirect contribution is when the spouse did not provide financial support or labor but facilitated the business growth of the other spouse by encouraging and morally supporting them (e.g., taking care of children or doing all household chores), allowing the other spouse to have the necessary time to work more effectively and thus increase their assets.


The deadline for filing a lawsuit for participation in acquired assets is two years from the date of dissolution/annulment of the marriage or civil partnership.



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