A judge’s gavel coming down on a broken heart design
A judge’s gavel coming down on a broken heart design

Marital Property or Sin Somros are all properties and financial assets acquired by a couple during their marriage, ordinarily used by them and their children while they are living together for shelter or transportation, or for household, educational, recreational or social purposes.  It consists of:

  1. property acquired during marriage;
  2. property acquired by either spouse during marriage through a will of gift made in writing if it is declared by such will or document of gift to be Marital Property;
  3. fruits of Personal Property. 

Anything that belonged to one spouse before the marriage is Non-marital property or Sin Suan Tua.

Each spouse is the manager of his or her own Sin Suan Tua.  It consists of:

  1. property belonging to either spouse before marriage;
  2. property for personal use, dress or ornament suitable for station in life, or tools necessary for carrying on the profession of either spouse;
  3. property acquired by either spouse during marriage through a will or gift;
  4. Khongman. 

The concern on property division does not usually arise during the marriage, but when a couple decides to separate.  Upon divorce, the Marital Property shall be divided equally between spouses.  

In managing the Marital Property in the following cases, the husband and wife have to be joint manager, or one spouse has to obtain consent from the other:

  1. Selling, exchanging, sale with the right of redemption, letting out property on hire-purchase, mortgaging, releasing mortgage to mortgagor or transferring the right of mortgage on immovable property or on mortgageable movable property.
  2. Creating or distinguishing the whole or a part of the servitude, right of inhabitation, right of superficies, usufruct or charge on immovable property.
  3. Letting immovable property for more than three years.
  4. Lending money
  5. Making a gift unless it is a gift for charitable, social or moral purposes and is suitable to the family condition.
  6. Making a compromise.
  7. Submitting a dispute to arbitration.
  8. Putting up the property as guarantee or security with a competent official or the Court.

The management of the Marital Property in any case other than those mentioned above can be made only by one spouse without having to obtain consent from the other.

Where either spouse is personally liable to perform an obligation incurred before or during marriage, such performance shall be first made out of his or her Personal Property; if the obligation is not performed in full, it shall be satisfied out of his or her portion of the Marital Property.

Where both spouses are common debtors, the performance shall be made out of the Marital Property and the Personal Property of both spouses.  If either spouse is adjudged bankrupt, the Marital Property is divided by operation of law as from the date of adjudication.

By: Magna Carta Law Office