Do you have an interest in a property held in your spouse’s name?
To understand whether marriage gives you an interest in property owned by your spouse and vice versa, a few terms must first be defined: proprietary interest and beneficial ownership.
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Proprietary interest is a term that is used to describe the rights that are given to the legal owner (or partial owner) of a property. This includes a legal interest in property, an equitable interest in the same property or both a legal and equitable interest in the property.
To be a beneficial owner means that although the property or asset may not be under your name, you are still entitled to some of the benefits. This is established by arguing that the legal owner holds
For example, in the High Court case of Tan Evelyn v Tan Lim Tai, although their matrimonial home was under the name of the husband, the court found that the wife had contributed enough to the purchase and upkeep to be beneficially entitled to half of the profits made from the selling of the home. However, in some cases such as in PQR v STR, if you cannot prove that your spouse held you in trust with the property, none of it will be granted to you.
Division of the property
If you are concerned about the division of the property after a divorce, there are numerous factors that will determine how it is to be divided. For example, whether the property was acquired during the course of the marriage will determine whether it is a matrimonial asset to be divided between the parties.
Here at Gloria James-Civetta & Co., one of our esteemed divorce lawyers will present you with high-class legal advice not only about the division of property but also about the division of matrimonial assets.