Purchasing a property during a divorce

Purchasing a property during a divorce

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Question: I am a non-Italian buying a property in Italy and I’m in the process of getting divorced. Will my ex-wife have any rights to it?

Answer: Without an express declaration, the purchase of a property in Italy is legally viewed as belonging to both spouses even if only one of them signs the purchase deed as the universal community of assets (in Italian this is termed comunione) is the standard financial regime for marriages. To avoid this result, the couple should either:

(i) prove their marriage is regulated by the separation of assets regime (in Italian this is termed separazione)or
(ii) legally declare the purchase to be under the separazione, instead of the comunione.

In other words, you and your ex wife could sign a declaration before a notary public in your country, or before an Italian officer (e.g., a consular authority), assessing the separazione. The Italian officer certifying the property transaction will receive the division of assets statement and will record the property in your name only.

I recommend to check your national laws with a local lawyer regarding consequences of property purchases abroad for married couples and how this purchase may affect or be treated in a divorce process or related disputes.

Should you like to contact our Italian solicitors, please click here.

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