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Can estranged spouse claim property acquired by gratuitous title?

In general, property acquired by gratuitous title, such as through donation or inheritance, is often considered separate property and is not typically subject to division during divorce or separation


Please be informed of Articles 91 and 92 of the Family Code, which states that:


"Art. 91. Unless otherwise provided in this Chapter or in the marriage settlements, the community property shall consist of all the property owned by the spouses at the time of the celebration of the marriage or acquired thereafter.


"Art. 92. The following shall be excluded from the community property:

"Property acquired during the marriage by gratuitous title by either spouse, and the fruits as well as the income thereof, if any, unless it is expressly provided by the donor, testator or grantor that they shall form part of the community property;

"Property for personal and exclusive use of either spouse. However, jewelry shall form part of the community property;


"Property acquired before the marriage by either spouse who has legitimate descendants by a former marriage, and the fruits as well as the income, if any, of such property."


As provided in the aforementioned law, the absolute community of property comprises of all the property owned by the husband and wife at the time of the celebration of marriage and those acquired by them thereafter.


However, there are three exceptions to such rule.


The first one would be the property acquired during the marriage by gratuitous title, such as through donation or inheritance, unless it was expressly mentioned by the donor or testator that such property will form part of the absolute community of property, while the second one would be property for the personal and exclusive use of the spouses, and the third one would be property acquired before the marriage by either spouse who has legitimate descendants by a former marriage.


Thus, while the absolute community governs your property relations, an estranged husband/wife cannot suddenly claim any share on a property donated to you, without any showing that there is a provision in the donation that the same should belong to the community property.


Source: Ziggurat Real Estate

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