Legal aspects of spouses property relations Regulation in the Republic of Lithuania

AutorDalia Perkumienè
Cargo del AutorDirector of Law Department. Kaunas University of Applied Sciences (Lituania)
Legal aspects of spouses property relations
Regulation in the Republic of Lithuania
1. Introduction
Marriage is an important institution regulated by laws. It exists for a number of ages in
all societies. It is a significant human right. However, both social and legal values of
marriage differ in various countries and alter in the course of time. The alteration depends
on the social, cultural and economic development, which also conditions the change in
values and worldviews. As a result, the viewpoint towards women and interracial marriages
has changed. According to the laws of Western countries wives are considered as equal and
not dependent partners; meanwhile, the interracial marriages have been legalised by law
and are very popular among the society members. Since the marriage is one of the essential
human rights, everyone must be allowed to exercise it.
Paragraphs 1 – 2 of article 38 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania
declare that “The family shall be the basis of society and the State. The State shall
protect and take care of family, motherhood, fatherhood, and childhood”. As better
quality and as bigger socialisation of the family as possible is required in order to make
the family the real basis of society and the State. Family socialisation within the society
is aggravated by a huge family mobility; i.e. high intensity of break-ups and foundations
of new families because every third family in Lithuania divorces (BABACHINAITƠ,
Marriage is also defined as an economical institution, which is credited with
important financial advantages (CRUZ, 2001), because it provides different economical
and social benefits. That includes tax exemptions, inheritance, child and spouse
maintenance, social security and immigration.
The marital property regime or property relationship sets out the real right status of
each spouse’s entire property (including the matter of belonging of the items of property
under the sole ownership of one spouse or in the joint ownership of spouses), the
procedure for administration (use and disposal) of the property, and its possible
restrictions in view of the other spouse’s interests, liability to creditors who are third
persons, as well as rules for division of property upon termination of the proprietary
relationship443. The objective of the marital property regime is ʊ pursuant to the
accentuation selected by the legislator ʊ to balance the various, often conflicting
interests: the personal interests of spouses versus general interests, the interests of the
442 Director of Law Department. Kaunas University of Applied Sciences (Lituania).
443 Further to the provisions on marital property relationships, regulation of the obligation to
maintain the family and the mutual right of representation of spouses also plays an important role in the
proprietary relations of spouses. These norms are to be distinguished from the marital property regime,
insofar as their content is not to define the real right status of property, but rather obligations under the
law of obligations, concerning which property relations are irrelevant. These obligations are also of
such importance from the viewpoint of the family as a whole that they should apply as perceptive
norms to any arrangement of the proprietary relations of spouses, so that the possibility to deviate from
these under a marital property contract would be quite limited.

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