UNEQUAL CONTRIBUTIONS: PROBLEMS WITHIN THE DIVISION OF SHARES IN JOINT COMMUNITY PROPERTY
Keywords:Joint community property, division of joint community property, equal shares in joint community property, matrimonial property
Marriage influences the economic rights of spouses when joint community property is created. When a marriage is dissolved, joint community property has to be divided. Each country sets different rules about how joint community property should be divided between spouses. Lithuania has chosen the presumption of equal shares in joint community property. Courts may depart from equal shares of spouses because of such important circumstances as interests of children, health state of a spouse, and personal income used to increase joint community property. However, courts have never departed from the equal shares principle due to differing contributions by spouses to matrimonial property. Meanwhile, other countries take into account contribution of spouses in order to divide property fairly and to protect the interests of the spouse who has contributed significantly to joint property, if the marriage was brief and the marriage produced no children. The impossibility to depart from equal shares to different contribution of spouses could increase the misuse of the institution of marriage and the unjust division of joint community property when the spouse who has not contributed to joint community property receives an equal share of it.