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Uneven sale of the apartment

The spouses are sometimes surprised when it turns out that in order to sell the apartment they have to come together to a notary public or - if the transaction is carried out by one of the spouses - he is required to present his spouse's consent to the sale. Some people are convinced that in a marriage everything that one spouse does with regard to the joint property has an effect on the other spouse. Well, there are legal actions where the spouses must act in close cooperation. Without the consent of the wife (or husband), a transaction made by one spouse is uneven ("afflicted with a "limp" as we used to say in Polish).

Entering into a marriage results in the establishment of a statutory joint property of spouses, unless the spouses sign a special agreement changing this "default" regime. Their joint property includes money and other things acquired since the marriage. For example, received after getting married: dividends, salaries, an apartment purchased after getting married.

If the spouses want to enter into a material transaction (or they want to carry out so-called unilateral act such as signing a will) concerning elements of their statutory joint property, they should act jointly, or the spouse who performs the act himself should act with the consent of the other spouse. The catalog of actions that require such consent is specified in Art. 37 of the Family and Guardianship Code. In particular such activities include: selling an apartment, renting a plot of land, establishing an easement on real estate, purchasing an enterprise, donating from joint property (e.g. donating a significant amount of money to a foundation caring for the blind).

Spouse’s consent should be obtained at the latest at the time of performing the legal action. If one of the spouses makes a transaction without the required consent of the other spouse, the counterparty may set up a deadline for the spouse whose consent was required to confirm the contract. If, for example, a farm lease contract is signed only by the husband, and the tenant sets 1 month deadline for the wife to confirm the action, then until the wife agrees to the lease, the contract is "suspended" from the legal point of view (i.e. afflicted with a limp). However, it may be declared invalid if the wife refuses to grant a consent or the time limit for expressing it has expired.

If the legal act is performed in the form of a notarial deed (e.g. sale of real estate), the consent of the spouse should also be expressed in the form of a notarial deed. If the spouse refuses to give consent, or the specified deadline expires, the spouse who performed the action is at risk of being liable for damages towards his contractor.

Before making any significant transactions, one should not be embarrassed to ask a personal question to the contractor whether he is married and whether he isbound with a statutory joint property regime. By clarifying this issue, you can avoid unpleasant surprises and unnecessary nervesresultingwithnecessaryconfirmation at the last minute whether the spouse's consent was granted or not.

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