Property in marriage.

Russian law on family property can be summarised with the following statements:

1. The act of marriage, engagement or cohabitation does not change ownership of property. Everything that was owned by the party before entering the marriage remains in his or her sole ownership.

2. Property received by a wife or a husband as a personal gift, which includes gifts from one party to the other and from third parties, or through inheritance is her or his property.

3. Items purchased for the individual needs of a party, with the exception of jewellery and articles of luxury, belong to this party.

4. If a piece of property owned by a spouse was improved at the expense of the other spouse or of the couple this property can be transferred into their common ownership.

5. Everything, including real estate, shares in companies, money and debts, acquired during the marriage belong to a wife and a husband as their common property, regardless who is registered as the legal owner. Shares of the parties in the common property are deemed equal.

6. The couple can enter a pre-nuptial agreement, which is valid and enforceable.

7. Legal regime of property of unmarried cohabitants, who live together as a husband and a wife and keep a common household, is the same as of a married couple.

8. There is a time bar of three years after divorce to the legal suits on separation of common property.