Buying a house as separate property can have some advantages for many couples. However, there are also certain legal aspects that it is advisable to know before opting for it.
What is involved in buying a house with separation of ownership?
The separation of ownership implies that each couple's member maintains and can dispose of their assets freely. In the specific case of buying a home, each one will be the owner of the proportional part that they have assumed and financed of the property.
Therefore, before buying a house with this type of regime, it is convenient to check the economic conditions established in the prenuptial agreement. That is the legal document that will apply in the case of conflict or separation.
Besides, when there are doubts about the exact contribution of each party, the law establishes that each member of the couple is entitled to 50% of the property or any other asset acquired jointly.
Advantages of buying a house as separate property
When choosing an economic regime in marriage, we should consider that buying a house as separate property implies advantages:
• Personal assets are preserved. Each party can freely dispose of it without the consent of the other. Yes, there is an exception: the habitual residence.
• The level of asset protection is higher. The reason is that, in case of financial difficulties or debts of a couple's member, they will respond only with their assets.
• If there is a separation or divorce, the procedures get considerably simplified. There is no possibility of economic disputes: each person maintains their properties.
• It'll be easier to access financing and obtain better conditions since there are two payers in front of the bank (and not just one family unit).
Disadvantages of buying a house as separate property
Buying a home as separate property can also have some drawbacks:
• The fact of not needing the permission of the other to manage personal assets can lead to problems and discrepancies.
• If one of the members dies, the other will not be able to administer their property unless it was previously specified. Otherwise, they would only receive a third of the assets as an inheritance.
• In the case of the family home, even if it only belongs to one party, authorization from the other party will be required for selling. That is because the habitual residence is considered private property.
What happens to the house in case of divorce?
If the couple decides to separate, the simplest thing is for one of the members to buy the other's part and assume the payment of the remaining mortgage, if any. In case of mutual agreement, they could sell the property. That way, each party will receive according to the proportional part of their contribution when they first bought it.
Anyway, we must not forget both are co-owners. Therefore, they have the right to use the home without preventing the other member of the couple from entering it. In addition, they must continue to pay maintenance expenses in proportion to the percentage of ownership.
If there are minors, the parent with guardianship and custody usually gets entitled to use the usual residence. That occurs even if the property belongs exclusively to the other. In the same way, that right ends when the children become emancipated.
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