Family Law. Divorce and separation in Spain with properties involved. English Law. Property bought in her sole name with money from a joint bank account.

Dear readers,

Our firm has received (on behalf of our client Mr B) a Court Order Decree dated 19th of April 2012 from Court No. 5 of First Instance in Denia. In this Court Order His Honour the Judge confirms our claim and requires the ex wife to return to our client half of the monies withdrawn from a joint bank account used to purchase a property under her sole name.

The Court Order also acknowledges that the marriage regime applicable was the separate property regime where each spouse owns the assets purchased under his/ her sole name during the marriage.

 Having proved that the ex wife purchased the property during her marriage, before being divorced under her sole name, but with monies from a joint bank account and not having proved that the monies in the account came exclusively from her, the Judge understands that this was the married couple’s money in common and since the ex wife purchased the property under her sole name with this money, she must now give back half of the amount used for the purchase, to her former husband updating the due amount to the date when the Decree was issued.

 Sometimes, the legal and formal owners of a property or those who appear on the Purchase Title Deed as owners, are not the same as the ones who actual paid for the property.

 It is quite common for British (English) couples to think that, as per their national law, it does not really matter if the property is registered under one or both names.

But it must not be forgotten, that to prove English Law in front of the Spanish Courts is not easy, and most Spanish Courts will understand that under the English Law a property purchased by one of the spouses during the marriage belongs privately and solely to him/her.

 Therefore, it is very important in order to avoid future problems that when a married couple, partners, or business partners, etc. decide to purchase a property in Spain, the Purchase Title Deed clearly states who purchases and therefore who should be considered as the real owner and in what percentage, to avoid future complications.

 If it is too late now and for whatever reasons you have already paid for the purchase of a property, but your name does not appear on the Purchase Title Deed and the Land Registry, or perhaps it does not appear in the correct proportion or maybe it is only registered under your spouse’s, partner’s name, then it is very important to legally protect your interest, by proving that the money or part of the money was contributed by you making the appropriate relevant changes (when needed) to the Title Deed, in order to reflect the real situation, or obtain acknowledgement of your rights from the formal property owner etc.

 If you or someone you know is in this situation please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be pleased provide the relevant advice.

The information provided in this article is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues.

 Carlos Baos (Lawyer)

Tel: +34 966 426 185

E-mail: info@white-baos.com

www.white-baos.com

White & Baos 2012 – All rights reserved

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