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.
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.
Thijs Sarneel specialises in family and inheritance law. Within family law, Thijs negotiates and litigates on behalf of his clients, who often include entrepreneurs and expats (or their partners). In such cases, the emphasis is frequently on complex settlements, the division of companies and real estate and financial issues. In inheritance law, Thijs is involved in the division of estates and family businesses, frequently in an international context.
Thijs provides an analytical approach with a strong sense of purpose, efficiency and strategy, in order to identify the heart of your problem, then find a suitable solution.
Because of his special interest in the art world, Thijs also regularly deals with matters in the field of art and law.