Does marriage make you an proprietor of the household house?

If the title deeds present your husband or spouse, however not you, because the proprietor of the household house, you would possibly wonder if marriage itself is sufficient to make you a component proprietor.
Hong Kong’s Court docket of Attraction needed to grapple with this query final yr in Mo Ying v Brillex Developments Ltd and determined that marriage and non-financial contributions to the well-being of the household will not be sufficient to present a partner an possession curiosity.
The problem that faces spouses who make a declare like that is the authorized strategy that requires them to indicate that they and their associate had a standard intention to share possession of the house. Fairly often, there is no such thing as a specific dialogue about sharing possession. In Mo Ying, the spouse had requested her husband to place her title on the title deeds, however her request was rejected.
If there was no specific settlement to share possession, the courts are ready to deduce the existence of such an settlement. In Mo Ying, the Court docket of Attraction stated that the settlement could possibly be inferred from contributions to mortgage funds or from different contributions to the family funds that made it potential for the opposite celebration to hold on assembly the mortgage instalments.
The spouse in Mo Ying had made no such contributions. Within the absence of an specific settlement or monetary contributions to the home funds referable to the acquisition of the house, there was no approach for the spouse to argue that she had an possession curiosity within the property.
Divorce proceedings had begun when the spouse launched her declare to a share of the household house, however by that point the husband had already offered the household’s flat to a 3rd celebration. The Court docket of Attraction made the purpose that the spouse might have anticipated to be awarded not less than half of the worth of the house as ancillary reduction within the matrimonial proceedings.
The legislation regarding the possession of the household house performs the identical operate as ancillary reduction proceedings within the sense that it considers how the household’s wealth needs to be divided up when the connection breaks down. This raises the query as as to whether household legislation rules and outcomes ought to affect the legislation regarding the possession of the household house. The Court docket of Attraction didn’t assume so and rejected any try and elide the property and matrimonial legislation regimes.
The property legislation rules on this space have, in line with many, been radically overhauled prior to now decade. The impact of this overhaul has been to permit the courts to look retrospectively at all the pieces that the events stated and did, beginning on the time when the household house was acquired, which may solid mild on their possession intentions. This transformation would appear to permit the courtroom to incorporate the actual fact of marriage and the making of non-financial contributions to the well-being of the household to be taken under consideration.
Mo Ying exhibits that this isn’t so in relation to deciding whether or not or not there was an intention to share possession.

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