LEGAL ISSUES REGARDING SPOUSAL PROPERTIES
The relationship between husband and wife in marriage is a personal relationship associated with property. The determination of rights and obligations regarding the property of spouses and the exercise of these rights and obligations with third parties will be based on the agreement of the parties in accordance with legal regulations. In case the spouses do not have an agreement on the property regime or have an agreement but this agreement is declared invalid by the Court, the spouses’s property regime according to the law will be applied to adjust. In this article, TNTP will analyze some legal issues regarding the property of spouses in a marital relationship based on the provisions of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family.
1. Community Property of Husband and Wife
During the process of cohabitation process, husband and wife always require a common property to fulfill common obligations and ensure the essential needs of the family. Accordingly, the common property of spouses is determined based on the provisions of Article 33 of the Law on Marriage and Family, specifically including:
– Property created by a spouse, incomes generated from labor, production and business activities, yields and profits arising from separate property and other lawful incomes in the marriage period;
– Property jointly inherited by or given to both, and other property agreed upon by husband and wife as common property;
– The land use rights obtained by a spouse after marriage shall be common property of husband and wife, unless they are separately inherited by, or given to a spouse or are obtained through transactions made with separate property.
2. Rights and Obligations of Husband and Wife Regarding Community Property
Husband and wife have equal rights and obligations in the creation, possession, use and disposition of their common property without discrimination between housework labor and income-generating labor. The right to possess, use and dispose of common property of husband and wife is stipulated in Article 35 of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family, accordingly:
– Right of possession: Husband and wife have the right to hold, manage and protect common property, and can authorize each other or others to possess common property according to the provisions of the Civil Code.
– Right of use: Husband and wife have the right to exploit and benefit from common property, but the use must be agreed upon by both parties. In the case of authorization, if the use of common property generates profits, the entire benefits obtained belongs to the community property of the spouses.
– Right of disposion: Husband and wife have the right to transfer or relinquish ownership of common property. In case real estate or property plays an important role in the family’s income, the disposition of the property must be agreed upon in writing with the confirmed signatures of both husband and wife.
The common property obligations of husband and wife can be understood as obligations arising when one or both spouses engage in behavior for the mutual benefit of the family, obligations that arise according to the agreement the spouses to meet material and spiritual needs of husband and wife or property obligations to a third party. Common property obligations of husband and wife are stipulated in Article 37 of the Law on Marriage and Family, specifically including:
– Obligations arising from transactions established under their agreement;
– Obligations to pay damages under their joint liability as prescribed by law;
– Obligations performed by a spouse in order to meet the family’s essential needs;
– Obligations arising from the possession, use and disposition of common property;
– Obligations arising from the use of separate property for maintaining and developing common property or for generating major incomes for the family;
– Obligations to pay damages caused by their children as prescribed by the Civil Code.
3. Separate property of husband and wife
In addition to common property, both husband and wife can own separate individual properties. Accordingly, the separate property of husband and wife will be managed and disposed of independently by each party. According to the provisions of Article 43 of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family, the types of property determined to be the separate property of husband and wife include:
– Separate property of a spouse includes property owned by this person before marriage; property inherited by or given separately to him/her during the marriage period; property divided to him/her under Articles 38,39 and 40 of the Law on Marriage and Family; property to meet his/her essential needs and other property under his/her ownership as prescribed by law.
– Property created from separate property of a husband or wife is also property of his/ her own. Yields and profits arising from separate property of each party after dividing common property.
4. Rights and obligations of husband and wife regarding separate property
Unlike the regulations regarding rights and obligations concerning common property, in case one spouse has separate property, he or she has full and independent rights to possess, use and dispose of that property without depending on the will of the other party. The right to possess, use and dispose of separate property of husband and wife is determined in Article 44 of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family, specifically as follows:
– Right of possession: The husband and wife, as owners, will manage their own property or can authorize a third party to manage it. If either party is unable to manage their own property and does not authorize a third person to manage it, the other party will have the right to manage that property.
– Right of use: Husband and wife have the right to use personal property to meet individual needs or use separate property to fulfill essential family needs. In cases where the common property is not enough, the individual with separate property must contribute to ensure the family’s common life.
– Right of disposion: Husband and wife have the right to independently dispose of separate property without depending on the other party’s wishes. Both parties have the right to decide whether or not to include their separate property to the common property according to the provisions of the 2014 Law on Marriage and Family.
Note: The Law on Marriage and Family has limitations on the right to dispose of separate property of husband and wife to ensure the most basic needs of marriage. Accordingly, in cases where profits and income arising from eparate property are the family’s only source of livelihood, the disposition of eparate property must require the mutual consent of both husband and wife.
Above is our legal sharing on the rights and obligations of husband and wife regarding the property regime as stipulated by law. Hopefully through this article, TNTP can help you better understand this issue. If you have any questions, please contact TNTP for more specific advice.
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