Legal regime regarding the property of spouses in Lithuania

  • 2010-04-14
  • By Marius Matiukas, Associate lawyer

ECOVIS Miškinis, Kvainauskas ir partneriai advokatų kontora

(continued from last week)

Where the spouses have not made a marriage contract, their property is subject to the statutory regime, i.e. the civil code defines the property regime for the spouses. Under the legal regime the property acquired by the spouses after the commencement of their marriage shall be their joint community property. The property of the spouses constitute their joint community property, until their separation, or until the extinguishment of the joint community property rights in some other way. The joint community property right is ownership when shares of each co-owner are not established. The shares of the spouses in joint community property are presumed to be equal.

The joint community property is:

1) property acquired after the formation of marriage in the name of one or both of the spouses;

2) the income and fruits collected from the individual property of a spouse;

3) income derived from the joint activities of the spouses, and income derived from the activities of one of the spouses, except for the funds required for that spouse’s occupation;

4) an enterprise and the income derived from the operations of the enterprise or any other business, provided that the spouses took up such business activities after the commencement of the marriage. Where the enterprise was owned by one of the spouses before the marriage, the joint community property shall include the income derived from the operations of the enterprise or any other business and the increase of the enterprise (business) after the formation of the marriage;

5) income from the work or intellectual activities, dividends, pensions, benefits or other payments collected by both spouses or one of them after the commencement of the marriage, except for payments received for specific purposes (such as damages for moral or corporal injury, support, allowance or other benefits paid specifically to only one of the spouses, etc.).

The  individual property of each spouse consists of:

1) property acquired separately by each spouse before the commencement of the marriage;

2) property devolved to a spouse by succession or gift during the marriage, unless the will or donation agreement indicates that the property is devolved as joint community property;

3) a spouse’s personal effects (footwear, clothing, instruments required for the spouse’s occupation);

4) the rights to intellectual or industrial property, except for the income derived from those rights;

5) funds and chattels required for the personal business of one of the spouses other than the funds and chattels used in the business conducted jointly by both spouses;

6) damages and compensation payments received by one of the spouses for non-pecuniary  damage or personal injury, payments as financial aid for specific purposes and other benefits related specifically to only one of the spouses, rights that may not be transferred;

7) property acquired with the separate funds or proceeds from the sale of a separate property with the express intention of the spouse at the time of the acquisition to acquire it as a separate property.