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  1. #1
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    Question Seperation of Assets

    While reading the posts I noted that a separation of assets agreement is recommended for those contemplating marriage to a person from the Dominican Republic. My question is do you have the agreement prepared and executed in your country of origin or in the DR to ensure it is legal?

  2. #2
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    I would do both to make sure. That way you can be 90% certain

  3. #3
    Goddess
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    Default While we are at it...

    Can Mr. Guzman pls. tell me if it is true that any assets acquired before marriage remain the sole property of the original owner. How about inheritance? Family gifts? How long and how complicated it is to prepare this agreement? Does it have to be filed before the wedding?

  4. #4
    Goddess
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    Default What the heck!

    I might as well ask away.

    Who inherits in the event of one the demise of one of the spouses. Does the prenup affect the way the inheritance is split if there are children?

    Children: does the financial aid have to be contemplated in the prenup?

    How about common debts? And things acquired jointly?

    Sorry if I somehow hijacked your thread Winker, I hope we both get answers.

  5. #5
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    Excellent questions Pib and I would have been asking them anyway.

    Although from my research it would depend on where the person dies, where the property exists and where their executor lives have a large impact on the estate laws.

  6. #6
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    If you are getting married in the Dominican Republic, the separate property agreement must be prepared by a Dominican Notary BEFORE the marriage (that’s why it’s called a “prenuptial” agreement) and handed over to the Civil Registry Officer (“Oficial de Estado Civil”) at the marriage.
    I am assuming that you’ll want the agreement to be enforceable in the Dominican Republic. If you don’t care about this but are only interested in its validity in your home country, then you’ll have to consult an attorney from home.

    The prenuptial agreement is as simple or as complicated as the future spouses want it to be. A straight separation agreement is a very simple document. It will state in legal terms that whatever a spouse acquired before or during marriage will belong to him/her exclusively and that assets in a spouse’s name belong to that spouse exclusively.

    If the spouses do not sign a prenuptial, their assets are governed by the community-property provisions of the Civil Code (Articles 1400 to 1496). Spouses are 50-50 owners of all matrimonial assets. These assets consist of the following:

    1) All moveable properties (in essence, everything but real estate) belonging to either spouse at the time of the marriage or acquired by either of them during marriage, even by inheritance or gift unless the testator or donor has expressed otherwise.

    2) All income from properties belonging exclusively for whatever reason to either spouse.

    3) All immovable properties (real estate) acquired by either spouse during marriage.

    To translate this into simple terms, without a “prenup,” whatever money, stocks, bonds, vehicles, credits, etc. (everything but real estate) you may have on the day of the marriage, is split 50-50 with your spouse when you say “yes, I do”. If your parents leave you $1,000,000 in their will and they do not expressly or implicitly state that this is for you alone, and not for your spouse, then your spouse will get 50%. (Fifteen years ago, I actually dealt with a case like this involving an American couple living in the DR).

    You may ask why this is so. The answer is that we are, I believe, the only country in the world still governed by the original provisions of the Napoleonic Code, which dates from 1804, a time when wealth was almost exclusively “immovable”, i.e., real estate, and therefore it was not considered of importance that all “moveables” be part of the matrimonial community. In France, the code was amended a long time ago to include only properties acquired during marriage as community property.

    I’ll refer later on to the question about inheritance in case of death of a spouse. I have run out of time.

  7. #7
    Goddess
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    Default Wow, I was so very wrong.

    Thanks a lot Mr. Guzmán. I am looking forward to the next
    installment.

  8. #8
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    Mr. Guzman I would like to know if these same rules apply to a person who marries a Dominican outside of the Dominican Republic and takes residency in another country?

  9. #9
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    The answer is no. In your case, there is no possible link to Dominican law since neither the place of marriage nor the domicile of the spouses is in Dominican Republic. This subject can get incredibly complicated sometimes.

  10. #10
    The Way Life Should Be...
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    What about two Americans. What should the separation agreement look like? In this case the assets are simply divided. His/her vehicles, and agree to sell and split the property (real estate). All other things co-owned divided up according to who really wants them, no other major assets. Is this agreement something the couple needs to get with an attorney in the states, or is it something they do themselves and then is made offical by a firm such as yours specializing in quickie divorce?

    many thanks.

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