The contribution to the acquisition of real estate is adjusted to its value at the time of separation.
Property relations between spouses vary from case to case, depending on the types of property, the time and method of its acquisition, the contribution of each of the spouses and in whose name they are registered. These problems proved to be serious and intractable.
Property relations between spouses are understood as their relations connected with movable and immovable property acquired with the prospect of marriage, before or at any time during marriage by one of the spouses. “Contribution” means any contribution of spouses or creation of property, and includes the care of family members and the home.
The question of property disputes between spouses is within the jurisdiction of the family court and is governed by article 14 of the law (L.232/1991), which reads as follows: “14 (1) If the marriage is dissolved or annulled or if the spouses live separately and the increased after marriage, the other spouse, who in any way contributed to the said increase, has the right to sue and claim a part of the increase received. from his contribution. (2) A spouse’s contribution to the increase in the property of the other spouse shall be deemed equal to 1/3 of the increase, unless it is proved that this contribution is greater or less. (b) by disposal of property acquired as described in paragraph (a) is not included in the increase in their property.”With respect to a spouse’s property that increases in value over time, the question arises whether the contribution to the acquisition of the property will be deducted without adjustment or will be adjusted according to its value at the time of separation. The issue of added value through rising real estate prices was raised in the context of the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court on 15 December. In particular, the wife suggested that the difference between the purchase price of the house and its value at the time of the divorce was its natural value added due to rising property prices, and the husband did not contribute to this.
The court agreed that there was an added value that could only be attributed to the increase in real estate prices. The house was bought in 1999 for 119,602 euros, and in 2011 it cost 329,000 euros. However, the court emphasized that the person who contributed to its acquisition is also entitled to this added value, as if it were an interest-free loan to another spouse. The Court concluded that the issue of value added due to rising real estate prices led to the issue raised by the wife because she and her father had paid sums corresponding to 76 per cent of the value of the house, or in a proportion of 53/70 of the value of the house. This contribution, adjusted for the proportion of 53/70 of the value of the house at the time of division, was equal to 249,100 euros. Therefore, as suggested by the wife, the husband’s contribution towards the house should be sought in the remaining value, from which the existing debt of the house should be deducted. The court agreed and estimated the size of the husband’s contribution at 1/3 of the remaining amount, minus the existing loan, which the wife took on.
George Coucunis is a lawyer practicing in Larnaca and founder of George Coucounis LLC, Advocates & Legal Consultants