How Divorce Affects Your Property and Finances: A Practical Guide




When a married couple decides to dissolve their marriage, their primary concern is how to distribute the property they have acquired together, as not everyone has a prenuptial agreement. In the context of an unresolved conflict, a spouse may file a lawsuit to divide the property. Each family’s situation is considered individually by the court to take into account additional factors that complicate the process.

It should be noted that it does not matter when exactly the property division process starts – before the divorce, while the spouses are still living together, or after the dissolution of the marital relationship. However, it is important to know that according to the Family Code of Ukraine, a lawsuit for property distribution is valid not from the moment of divorce, but from the time when it becomes apparent that the property rights of one of the spouses are violated. For example, if a husband or wife sold their common car without mutual consent. From the moment one spouse becomes aware of the infringement of their property rights, the countdown begins in the case regarding the car. The maximum statute of limitations is three years.

How to Divide a Car After Divorce?

According to the second part of Article 71 of the Family Code of Ukraine, a car is not subject to division in the case of property separation, hence, after the dissolution of the marriage, only one of the spouses can acquire ownership rights to it. However, in this situation, an alternative is provided where the other party receives compensation amounting to 50% of the car’s value.

This implies that divorce significantly affects your property and creates a multitude of legal issues and personal circumstances in any family. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly discuss all your steps during the divorce process and seek advice from a qualified specialist.

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Division of Privatized Real Estate Through Court

Typically, when dividing property between spouses, the court proceedings assess the living space and divide a house or apartment in half, meaning each party is allocated a ½ share. However, in some situations, the share of the housing for the husband or wife can be increased or decreased, influenced by such factors:

  • If one of the parties did not participate in the financial support of the family;
  • The presence of property owned by one of the spouses that was concealed;
  • If the husband or wife spent the family’s assets imprudently.

Кроме этого, существует практика, когда одному супругу суд определяет выплату средств в денежной форме, эквивалентную размеру его части жилья. А другому участнику достаться квартира или дом полностью.

Additionally, there is a practice where the court may determine a monetary payment to one spouse, equivalent to the value of their share of the housing. The other party may receive the apartment or house in full.

Sometimes, the court allocates an apartment to one spouse and a garage with a car, or a country house, to the other. In situations where parts of the real estate were immediately registered in the name of the husband or wife at the time of purchase, the property will not be divided, as it is already fixed to the owners. Housing gifted by one spouse to another is not divided.

The outcome of the case always depends on the circumstances existing in the individual family. The couple always has the opportunity to amicably settle between themselves and resolve the issue without court intervention.

Division of Property and Finances: Process Features

When spouses turn to the court to make a fair decision on the division of acquired property, the state authority investigates all the factors and details of the issue that will influence its decision. Therefore, the judicial body needs to find out:

  • A complete list of property to be divided between them. If the matter involves a land plot, not only the Family Code but also the Land Code of Ukraine will be applicable.
  • The period in which, by whom among the spouses, and under what conditions the property was purchased.
  • Credit and other debts present between the husband and wife.
  • Identification of the significant value of the property.
  • The spouses’ request for property division.

The conditions for property division after divorce can be extremely complex. Often, spouses try to involve their relatives in the dispute, arguing that the property was purchased not with personal funds but with borrowed ones. When considering such claims, the court rules that the presence of funds borrowed from a father or mother does not constitute absolute proof that the property was purchased with these specific funds without proper evidence. This means that the existence of a loan agreement does not allow proving the privatization of property in court.

Article 173 of the Family Code states that children who have not reached the age of majority cannot legally demand a share of the living space during its distribution. If a house or apartment was purchased on credit, then the division is carried out in equal shares. Since the credit contract is concluded with the consent of both parties, both the husband and wife are obliged, after the dissolution of the marriage, to fully settle the debt.

When Should You Go to Court for Property Division?

The divorce process will affect the financial status of each spouse, so it’s wise and legal to divide jointly acquired property so that everyone is satisfied. If the marital union is not dissolved, yet the couple lives separately, then the property they purchased independently can be considered joint property. Therefore, if you have something to divide, it is advisable to immediately file for divorce, with subsequent distribution of property in a lawful manner.

According to the Family Law of Ukraine, spouses have equal shares in joint property. However, if the spouses have small or underage children who cannot yet work, the spouse with whom they will live after the divorce may be awarded a larger share of the property by the court. This option is valid if the alimony payments provided for their maintenance do not cover the expenses for their treatment, spiritual, and physical development.

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