Registering rights derived from acts between a married person and a third party

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1. When a married person becomes the owner of a registered property, which special requirements derived from his/her civil status must be taken into consideration in order to get the new title registered in the Land Registry?

Land book registration may only be allowed based on the original or certified copy of the document (contract on distributing matrimonial property, disposition contract etc.) containing a notarised signature of the person whose right is thereby limited, transferred or abolished. A request for land book registration is submitted to the competent Land Registry court in person, by mail or electronically, by an authorised user of the information system used by the court in its operations (public notary or lawyer).

The spouses may possess matrimonial property and their own property. Matrimonial property is the property acquired by the spouses through their working during the matrimonial union, or originating from that property. Prizes won in lotteries and other games of chance, and gains made based on the copyright and related rights during the matrimonial union, are considered matrimonial property. The spouses co-own matrimonial property in equal shares, unless agreed otherwise.

2. How the registration in favor of a married person would be done? Would any interested party be able to know by checking the land registry information any restriction in the powers of the owner derived from the matrimonial property regime?

Land book titles are registered in the same way in favour of married and unmarried persons. If there are several persons holding titles to a real property, they are registered as co-owners, in shares defined as fractions.

3. What will the Land Registry demand from a married proprietor to register the transmission or any modification of his/her registered title?

There are no special requirements in the land registration law from married persons in relation to those unmarried.

A person registering the title based on matrimonial property must possess a document containing a notarised signature of the person whose right is thereby limited, transferred or encumbered (request with a notarised signature of the person transferring ownership, two-party legal act, contract on distributing matrimonial property, or court decision defining matrimonial property). This is to say, although the title to matrimonial property is acquired ex lege, there is no modality for land book registration without a document meeting all general and specific requirements for title registration in the Land Registry. There is no possibility for registration in the Republic of Croatian solely based on a document proving the marital status (such as marriage certificate, extract from the marriage registry etc.).

With regard to all above, there are no differences between the spouses Croatian citizens, those of EU member states, or third countries, just as there are no differences with regard to land book registration in cases of cohabitation or registered partnership.

Practical case 1

Janos, who is married to Elena under a matrimonial economic regime of community of joint assets, buys an immovable property. He signs the deed of transfer before a local notary, acting solely and on his own, without any intervention of his wife Maria. The deed of transfer is sent to the Registry for registration.

One spouse buys an immovable asset and the Land Registry Court will register as the owner the person who is contractually listed as a real estate acquirer. The Land Registry Court does not examine the marital status of the persons enrolled in the land register and no proof of the concrete matrimonial property regime would be required.

Practical case 2

Pierre is married to Michelle and although the matrimonial property regime established by the applicable law is a joint community one, the same law allows the spouses to modify that legal regime adopting a different one which is the property separation of assets regime, for which purpose they both sign a matrimonial property agreement modifying their matrimonial community property regime into a separation of assets one.

When Michelle buys the right of usufruct on an immovable asset, she appears on her own in the contract of sale and the transfer deed and she wants that the registration to be made in such a manner that no restriction or limitation derived from her marriage appear in the registry.

In this case, when one spouse buys the right of usufruct on an immovable asset, he appears on his own in the contract of sale and the transfer deed and he wants that the registration to be made in such a manner that no restriction or limitation derived from his marriage appear in the registry. The registry will make the registration according to spouse’s wishes without any proof of the matrimonial property agreement.