New EU law will come into force on 29th January 2019, namely Regulations 1103/1106 and 1104/2016 which will regulate property ownership between married couples and registered partnerships in international or “cross-border” situations.
The new rules, in a similar vein as other Regulations in family law matters, will prescribe clarity in case of a dispute, in particular separation and divorce, ie will enable couples to determine the law appliable and the competent court to decide on the question of property ownership.
An example of a situation which could give rise to a matrimonial property dispute would be where a couple married in the UK has lived for 30 years in Italy, and the wife purchases property in her sole name. The husband could potentially claim that given the habitual residence in Italy of the couple, that the matrimonal property regime of Italy of comunione dei beni should apply ie that the property bought by one spouse is automatically jointly owned by the other spouse.
These Regulations will not have any influence on property owned by couples who are cohabiting, ie even if in Italy they have registered the relationsip as a “coppia di fatto” with the Comune, a possibility introduced for the first time by the Legge Cirinna of 2016. They will also have no bearing on questions relatig to inheritance and succession law.
In relation to divorce and separation in a member state, the court dealing with the matter (which is competent under the terms of the EU Regulation 2201/2013) will now be able to decide any questions in dispute which relate to the matrimonial property regime.
We will follow caseslaw relating to this Regulation as it develops and post updates on ths site. Please subscribe to our Newsletter to receive these in your inbox.