Divorce and Separation of Assets
When a marriage comes to an end, many things change. Property needs to be divided through a process called “ositus” or separation of property, which divorcing spouses can agree upon. It is advisable to create a written property division agreement, especially when it comes to distributing the spouses’ assets. Drafting such an agreement with the assistance of a legal expert ensures that it meets the requirements set by the law.
In cases of conflict, expert knowledge is essential during property division to ensure a fair resolution of financial matters. If needed, we provide guidance in negotiating the property division and ensure that the resulting agreement is in our client’s best interests. If the appointment of a property division administrator is necessary, we offer assistance at every step and, if required, can also act as the administrator.
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Property division assessment package
We assist you in evaluating your property. Property subject to division must be valued at its value at the time the division basis arose, i.e., when the divorce was initiated. Valuing money in property division is straightforward, but assessing the monetary value of movable and immovable property can be more challenging. Moreover, differing perspectives between the parties involved in the division can lead to disputes. Since property division can be delayed for a long time, it may be necessary to re-evaluate the property at the time of division.
Property should be valued based on its fair market value. Fair market value refers to the amount that would be obtained by selling the property. This aims to value the property while considering the general price level. For example, real estate can be compared to similar properties in the same area and their prices. Usable goods are generally of negligible value and are often considered worthless. Valuation should be carried out with great care, and if you feel that assistance is needed, Annia can help with the valuation. In this case, an external party has appraised the property, making it neutrally acceptable as a basis for division. The valuation of property has a significant impact on the content of inheritance distribution and taxation, so in uncertain situations, it’s advisable to contact our legal experts.
1. Compensation (tasinko) in divorce, what is it?
“Tasinko” refers to compensation that the spouse with more assets after deducting debts is obligated to pay to the spouse with fewer assets after deducting debts in connection with a divorce.
Compensation is determined through a division calculation. In the division calculation, the assets owned by each spouse on the day the divorce is initiated (the day the divorce is initiated in the district court, not the day the divorce is granted) are reduced by their respective debts. This reveals the savings in each spouse’s assets. The one with greater savings is required to pay compensation. Through the division, ownership is balanced evenly.
2. Ending cohabitation - Who gets to stay in the shared home?
When cohabitation with a spouse comes to an end, living arrangements often change, and the question of who gets to stay in the shared home, where they have lived together, may arise. If the parties cannot agree on who should stay in the shared home, a resolution can ultimately be sought from the district court concerning the termination of cohabitation. In this case, the district court decides which spouse gets to stay in the shared home, and the other spouse may be required to move out of the shared residence. Additionally, the court can also grant the spouse remaining in the home the right to use certain everyday property belonging to the other spouse. This question often arises in the context of property division, and the decision remains in effect until the property division matter has been resolved. If you are contemplating in a divorce situation how to proceed with the issue of spouses’ living arrangements, contact us, and let us assist you through negotiation, filing a petition for the termination of cohabitation, and guiding you through the process.
3. Spousal Right to Financial Support
When a marriage comes to an end, often the arrangements related to the joint household also change. The spousal support obligation in a marriage is based on the Marriage Act. Generally, both spouses are expected to contribute to the family’s joint economy and support each other to the best of their abilities. In some cases, it is possible to establish the amount and method of spousal support through an agreement or a court decision. In certain situations, if one spouse neglects their obligation to provide support or if the spouses live separately, the other spouse may be required to pay spousal support under certain circumstances. Additionally, in certain cases, a spouse can be obligated to provide spousal support even after the divorce is finalized.
In a situation of separation or divorce, seeking the assistance of a lawyer can be beneficial to ensure your rights are protected. We can help you assess your situation, provide guidance, and assist you throughout the process.
If you have concerns about the legal aspects of divorce and how they will be resolved, feel free to reach out to us.
Selection of an Estate Distributor and Application
When there is a dispute over partition and the parties disagree on certain issues related to the matter, a settlement agreement cannot be reached. In such cases, it is necessary to apply to the district court to appoint an estate distributor to carry out the partition between the parties. The estate distributor is typically an attorney experienced in handling estate distribution matters. At Annia, attorney Maria Puputti handles the tasks of an estate distributor. The cost of the estate distributor’s fee is divided equally between the parties, but with joint liability.
The other party can independently apply for the appointment of an estate distributor at any time after the emergence of the partition basis. To do this, the party must first request consent from the proposed individual for the role, ensuring there is no conflict of interest.
Ineligibility means that the attorney has not previously handled the affairs of either party, as the person appointed for the task must be impartial and free from conflicts of interest in the matter. The key criterion in selecting the individual is primarily their experience in partition matters, rather than the location of their office, as nowadays meetings can conveniently be conducted remotely. Even signatures can be managed through postal means if necessary, even if the parties do not reside in the same location, or a representative can be authorized to sign the agreement.
Unfortunately, government authorities do not yet accept electronic signatures.
Partition managed by Estate Distributor
When the District Court appoints an estate distributor, a partition meeting is arranged. The parties must be officially summoned to the partition meeting. During the partition meeting, the parties’ assets and debts at the time of the partition basis (when the divorce has been initiated) are clarified. The primary task of the estate distributor is to attempt to find a settlement solution by negotiating with the parties. If the parties reach an agreement at this stage, the estate distributor confirms the settlement as the final solution. In the agreement, the parties waive their right to contest the decision, and the matter immediately becomes legally effective. However, if there is a disagreement between the parties and no agreement is reached, the estate distributor performs the partition according to the legislation and justifies their decision legally. Failure to address the prerequisites for the distribution can potentially lead to the partition being deemed illegal.
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