Victory in a precedent-setting dispute on marital property division

The court of first instance awarded each of the spouses an equal share in the right of ownership of the flat, refusing the former wife to pay compensation to the former husband for his share, despite the fact that the marriage was dissolved, relations between the spouses were conflict, the former husband actually did not live in the disputed flat for a long time, the former wife lived in the flat with minor children and was interested in the use of the flat.

Our client, the former wife, considering this court decision unlawful, appealed against it. The court of appeal decided in favor of our client and recognized her and her minor children as the owners of the entire flat, ordering her to pay compensation to her former husband for his share in the right of ownership of the flat.

The former husband appealed this decision in cassation, insisting on the fact that he had no other housing on the right of ownership and that he was ready to live in the flat with his former wife. The court of cassation decided to return the dispute to the court of appeal for a new consideration and to establish a number of legally relevant facts, namely: the technical possibility of dividing the flat into 2 parts and the financial ability of our client to pay compensation for the share in the flat to the former husband.

During the new consideration of the case in the court of appeal, our lawyers again drew the court’s attention to the fact of conflict relations between the former spouses and the impossibility of their cohabitation in the same flat, as well as to the fact of interest of our client and her minor children in the use of the flat, previously established by the court of appeal in another civil case (res judicata). Our client also submitted to the court the technical opinion of an independent specialist on the impossibility of dividing the former husband’s share in the flat in kind and the documents confirming that she had a sum of money to compensate the former husband for his share in the flat. As a result, the court of appeal considered that the facts pointed out by the cassation court had been established and decided to recognize our client’s and her minor children’s title to the flat, obliging her to pay the former husband compensation for his share in the flat.