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The statute of limitations for the division of property of the spouses

The story is simple: a man and a woman met, fell in love with each other and decided to start a family. Registry office, wedding, children… It would seem, "Happy End". But to live long and happily did not work. Constant quarrels, beating dishes and eventually the betrayal of her husband led to divorce. His wife kicked the scoundrel out of the apartment with all his belongings, and he did not particularly resist. Time passed, the husband came to his senses and decided to try to restore the relationship with his ex-wife. But his ex-wife did not let him into the apartment, gave the remains of his belongings and changed all the locks in the apartment.

Almost 20 years have passed and the husband went to court to sue for half of the apartment. He recalled that, being married, he gave his "hundred rubles" to purchase it, and therefore has equal rights with his ex-wife to the apartment.

That's just my husband did not take into account one nuance. The statute of limitations has expired. That is why the court refused to award him half of the apartment. What is this magical "statute of limitations" that helped his wife restore justice?


The statute of limitations is the period within which a person may apply to the court to protect his civil rights or interests.

That is, the period within which the husband could go to court to recognize the ownership of the apartment is called the statute of limitations.

Therefore, when there is a need to divide the joint property, it is necessary to remember that the term for filing a statement of claim is limited.

Duration of the statute of limitations

If the persons are in a registered marriage - the statute of limitations does not apply.

Being in a registered marriage, each of the spouses may demand to share the joint property at any time. The statute of limitations on such claims does not apply.

A completely different rule applies to persons between whom a marriage has been dissolved.

The law sets a statute of limitations of three years for persons who are divorced.

The lawyer will help with the division of property

The beginning of the statute of limitations

The statute of limitations is calculated from the day when the person learned or could have learned about the violation of his property rights.

And these two circumstances are completely independent of each other.

Some believe that the statute of limitations begins to run from the date of divorce. For some time, this position was held by some courts. However, the higher courts corrected this error.

When dividing the joint property of the spouses, the statute of limitations is calculated NOT from the date of divorce, but from the moment when the plaintiff learned or could learn about the violation of his right to such property.

What is a "violation of the law"? - This is the moment when a dispute arises between the ex-husband and wife regarding this property.

In the case of our spouses, the husband's statute of limitations began to run when he was evicted from the apartment. It was from this time that he could not use the apartment that belonged to him and his wife.

Consequences of the expiration of the statute of limitations

The expiration of the statute of limitations is the basis for refusing to satisfy the claim.

At the same time, even if the 3-year statute of limitations has expired, the plaintiff still has the right to go to court and the court will consider his claim.

The court itself does not apply the statute of limitations, but only if the defendant requests it.

The court may apply the statute of limitations only at the request of the defendant. If the defendant does not ask for this during the proceedings, the court may consider the case and divide the property, even if the statute of limitations has long been missed.

Suspension and resumption of the statute of limitations

Even if the defendant claims that the statute of limitations is omitted, this does not guarantee that the court will reject the claim.

The legislation provides for several grounds when the statute of limitations is suspended, as well as when the statute of limitations is interrupted.

Also, the plaintiff may substantiate before the court the respectability of the reasons for omitting the statute of limitations.

If the court finds valid the reasons for the omission of the statute of limitations, it may divide the property of the spouses after these terms.

SO, in any case it is not necessary to procrastinate with a question of division of property after divorce. The more time passes, the less chance there is to divide this property.

If the marital relationship has not developed, I advise you to resolve the issue of division of property at the same time as the divorce and it is better to do so with the support of a family lawyer.

Need a lawyer?

This article covers a typical solution to a legal problem. Your case is individual. If you want to resolve a family dispute efficiently and quickly, ask a lawyer for help.

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