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  • Matrimonial regime

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    Matrimonial regimes, or marital property systems, are systems of property ownership between spouses providing for the creation or absence of a marital estate, and if created, what properties are included in that estate, how and by whom it is managed, and how it will be divided and inherited at the end of the marriage. Matrimonial regimes are applied either by operation of law or by way of prenuptial agreement in civil-law countries, and depend on the lex domicilii of the spouses at the time of or immediately following the wedding. (See e.g. Quebec Civil Code and French Civil Code, arts. 431-492.). In most Common law jurisdictions, the default and only matrimonial regime is separation of property, though some U.S. states, known as community property states, are an exception. Also, in England, the birthplace of Common law, pre-nuptial agreements were until recently completely unrecognized, and although the principle of separation of property prevailed, Courts are enabled to make a series of orders upon divorce regulating the distribution of assets. Civil-law and bijuridical jurisdictions, including Quebec, Louisiana, France, South Africa, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and many others, have statutory default matrimonial regimes, in addition to or, in some cases, in lieu of regimes that can only be contracted by prenuptial agreements. Generally, couples marry into some form of community of property by default, or instead contract out under separation of property or some other regime through a prenuptial agreement passed before a Civil-law notary or other public officer solemnizing the marriage. Five countries, including the Netherlands, have signed on to the Hague Convention on the Law applicable to Matrimonial Property Regimes, which entered into force on 1 September 1992, which allows spouses to choose not only the regimes offered by their country, but also any regime in force in the country where at least one is a citizen or resident or where marital real estate is situated.

  • Community property

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    Map of the United States with community property states in red. Additionally, Alaska is an elective community property state, and of the five inhabited US territories, Puerto Rico and Guam are community property jurisdictions.Community property is a marital property regime under which most property acquired during the marriage (except for gifts or inheritances), the community, or communio bonorum, is owned jointly by both spouses and is divided upon divorce, annulment, or death. Joint ownership is automatically presumed by law in the absence of specific evidence that would point to a contrary conclusion for a particular piece of property. Division of community property may take place by item by splitting all items or by values. In some jurisdictions, such as California, a 50/50 division of community property is strictly mandated by statute so the focus then shifts to whether particular items are to be classified as community or separate property. In other jurisdictions, such as Texas, a divorce court may decree an "equitable distribution" of community property, which may result in an unequal division of such.

  • Division of property

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    Division of property, also known as equitable distribution, is a judicial division of property rights and obligations between spouses during divorce. It may be done by agreement, through a property settlement, or by judicial decree. Distribution of property is the division, due to a death or the dissolution of a marriage, of property which was owned by the deceased, or acquired during the course of the marriage.

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