JT Law's Sydney team
According to Article 1400 of the Greek Civil Code, if a marriage is dissolved and the property of one of the spouses has since the marriage increased, the other spouse, provided he contributed in any manner to such increase, will be entitled to claim the attribution of that part of the increase which is due to his contribution. It will be presumed that such contribution amounts to one third of the increase, except if a greater or lesser contribution or no contribution at all can be proven.
It should be noted that it is prohibited to come to an agreement before or during the marriage for the waiver of the claim for contribution to the increase of the other spouse's property. Moreover, neither spouse may renounce such claim or restrict it towards the belongings or its percentage.
The Supreme Court has held (case 1889/2007) that contribution to the increase of the other spouse's property does not solely amount to capital funds. The contribution may even include services provided to the marital house, which can be assessed in money. These services may even be the caring and upbringing of the children for which the other spouse saved expenses and increased his property.
The assessment of the services provided by the spouse may be estimated based on a presumed salary that the spouse would have gained if he/she was working, but instead sacrificed such professional career for the family's benefit.
Property acquired by the spouses by way of donation, inheritance or through acquisition by the disposal of the proceeds of such donation or inheritance is not included in the increase of the spouses' property.
However, the spouses may before or during their marriage choose by contract to regulate the assets which will derive from their marriage, instead of applying the system in Article 1400 of the Greek Civil Code. By choosing this system of community in equal parts for their assets, neither spouse has a right to dispose his/her undivided share (system of joint ownership).
Anything that each spouse acquires during marriage through the disposal of assets belonging to his personal property will revert thereto. The spouse who claims that an acquisition was effected through such disposal will bear the burden of proving his claim.
Regarding chattels, each spouse is entitled to recover any chattel that belongs to him, even if these were used by both or by the other spouse alone. He is, however under an obligation to allow the other spouse to make use of the household items that are absolutely necessary to him for his separate establishment.
The spouses will apportion the use of chattels belonging to both in accordance with their personal needs. If they disagree, the apportionment will be made by the Court, which may award a reasonable compensation for the use it grants.
When the spouses have acquired real estate property jointly, the dissolution of such ownership will be effected through distribution. If the spouses-joint owners cannot come to an agreement on how to distribute their property, each of them may demand a judicial dissolution pursuant to the provisions of the Greek Civil Procedure.