Community of Property – Back to the Roots
Keywords:family law, matrimonial-property regime, community of property, joint property, joint ownership
Community of property is a statutory matrimonial-property regime that creates a strong proprietary bond between the spouses, mainly through joint ownership and the obligation for the spouses to administer joint property jointly. This strong proprietary bond, due to which the two individuals are obliged to act together, is so rigid and comprehensive that they can hardly ever act independently. It is questionable that such extensive restrictions are justified and necessary for protection of the weaker spouse.
The article presents the roots of the community of property regime and the development of this regime in Estonian law. The aim is to ascertain the point from which the regime has been based on joint ownership and joint administration and reveal whether the obligation for the spouses to act together was always so rigid and all-encompassing. This should aid in understanding whether community of property has stood the test of time because the regime had a different form in the past or because better legal solutions existed alongside it, ones that have been forgotten. The author finds that looking back is a good way to understand the best way to move forward.