Legal Question in Real Estate Law in France

real estate inheritance

If my husband and I have both our

names on the property papers, we

have both worked on it quite

extensively but the original money

came from his bank account and all

the expenses he is paying from HIS

account, rather than ours... Does this

mean that if we should separate I will

have no part of the property?

Asked on 10/29/08, 7:18 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Ronald Sokol Sokol Law Offices

Re: real estate inheritance

Your question does not specify that you are talking about real property, but I presume you are. You also do not specify that the property is located in France, but I presume it is. Assuming that it is real property and is in France, then the deed (Acte de vente) must be looked at carefully. You must look not just at whose name is on the deed but also whether the deed states where the funds used for the purchase came from. If it states that they all came from your husband, then you will have a tough task to show that you own half. You may, however, claim a share in the improvements if you contributed to them, but it is often difficult to prove your share of the improvements. If the deed says that the funds came from both of you, then your husband will have a tough time denying that you own half. If the deed does not show who contributed the funds, then the presumption is that you both did, but if he can prove that in fact he contributed all of the funds, then he stands a good chance of overcoming the presumption that the property belongs to both of you simply because it is in both of your names. You still can try to show that you are entitled to a share in the increased value because of the improvements, provided that you can prove your contribution to those improvements. This type of messy problem actually turns up quite often.

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Answered on 10/29/08, 1:10 pm

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