How can you protect yourself when your spouse is the sole owner of the family residence?
The law provides that at the time of a separation or divorce the family patrimony is divided equally between both spouses. The family patrimony does not require that both spouses be owners of property for it to be equally divided. In order for you to be protected from your home being sold, donated or leased without your consent it is important to register a declaration of family residence at the land registry office of the division where the property is situated.
The Peace of Mind That Comes With Having a Declaration of Family Residence
The declaration of family residence is a document that indicates the important information concerning the immovable such as: address and cadastral information. The declaration needs to be signed in front of two witnesses in order for it to be accepted for publication. The declaration of family residence, once registered, advises banks or other third parties that the immovable is a family residence and therefore, no transaction can occur without the written consent of both spouses.
The declaration of family residence only affords protection to married couples or couples that have contracted a civil union. For couples that are living together without being married, it is extremely important to have a contact drafted up that provides the provisions of partition in the eventuality of a separation. This contract is essential because the family patrimony does not apply to them and is consequently the only way to protect your rights at the time of separation.
Finally, the declaration of family residence does not need to be signed by the other spouse for it to be accepted for publication.
Me Gianina Fuschini
Alepin Gauthier Avocats Inc.