Are you married?
Do you plan on getting married or moving in with a long-term partner?
Are you currently living with a long-term partner?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you MUST get to know the PROSA.
Below are a few frequently asked questions about the PROSA.
What is PROSA?
PROSA is short for the Property Rights of Spouse Act 2004, which became law in 2006. It entitles couples, who have decided to dissolve their union, to share in property accumulated either before or during their relationship.
I have been living with my boyfriend for around 5 years now, is our relationship covered by PROSA ?
Yes. PROSA makes it possible for both married and common law couples to share in property when the relationship ends. However, PROSA only recognises common law relationship where the persons have been living together for 5 years or more.
I am a gay man living with my partner for 5 years, does PROSA permit me to make a claim in court for division of property if the relationship ends ?
No. PROSA only gives legal rights to heterosexual relationships.
My wife and I live in a house, which she owned before the marriage, am I entitled to a share in the house if our marriage ends ? (I am now thinking about a divorce)
Yes. All spouses, including those in common law relationships of 5 years or more, are entitled to a 50% share in the family home when the relationship ends. The 50% share is automatic once the relationship ends. Neither spouse needs to prove that they made any contributions to buying and/or maintaining the home, once the following criteria have been established:
- The family home is owned by at least one spouse and
- the spouses resided at the home for the majority of their relationship.
I have been living with my girlfriend for 5 years in a house that I inherited from my mother, if our relationship should end, would she be entitled to a 50% share in the home ?
Even though the law assumes, that each of you should have a 50% share in the family home, PROSA allows you to ask the court to give her a lesser or no share at all in the home. This depends on many factors and the court has wide discretion in deciding whether they will stick to the 50% rule or vary the share of one spouse. The fact that you inherited the home from your mother is a factor the court will most certainly consider in coming to its decision.
I have been living with a man for over 5 years but he is still married to his wife , who lives overseas, am I entitled to a 50% share in the home we now occupy?
You would not be entitled to any share in the home under the PROSA. PROSA only recognises and gives rights to single persons in a relationship. Your man is married and so the law does not consider him to be a single person.
My husband and I live in a rental apartment. He now wants a divorce but I have contributed a lot of time and professional expertise to making his online tech business successful. Can I get a share in his business under the PROSA ?
Yes. PROSA permits spouses to apply to the court for division of property accumulated during the marriage and acquired through the joint effort of both persons in the marriage. Property as used in the PROSA does not only refer to the family home but also includes real estate, stocks, bonds, jewellery, paintings, furniture , ownership in a business, savings accounts etc.
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The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and must not be relied upon as an alternative to legal advice from your own attorney.