Tha Hague Netherlands

Marital community of property Part 3 – Compensation rights

As of 1 January 2012, a legislative proposal with new provisions on the general community of property will take effect. (See Part 1 and Part 2  of this series.) This article will elaborate on the ways which couples filing for divorce will be affected under the new provisions concerning compensation rights.

Compensation rights

A spouse can make a claim for compensation whenever he/she invests his/her ‘own’ money in a jointly owned asset. Couples married under the matrimonial regime of community of goods and property may still have access to e.g. their inheritances or gifts, under the condition that these are covered by an exemption clause.

Let us take, for example, a couple that marries under the regime of community of property. The husband inherited € 50,000 under an exemption clause and invests it in the renovation of the matrimonial home. This house, however, falls under the community of property and goods. Should the couple decide to file for divorce, the husband could claim for compensation, since he has invested his ‘own’ money to raise the value of the matrimonial home. Therefore, he is entitled to € 50.000.

The current situation

Under the current legislation, the husband has a nominal right to claim the € 50,000 invested in the matrimonial home. Increased or decreased value of the house is not taken into account.

The future situation

After 1 January 2012, things will change insofar as the husband will be able to claim the invested sum, plus the increased value or minus the decreased value that occurred due to his investment.  The moment in time, so when one invested the money, is irrelevant.

Do you need advice about your rights under the marital community of property? Contact us – we’ll be glad to help you.