Azerbaijanis not Interested in Signing Marriage Contract

Azerbaijan, Baku, 21 June /corr. Trend K.Zarbaliyeva / The Azerbaijani family legislation envisages signing a marriage contract between individuals who get married. However, those who get married are not interested in this contract which results in serious problems in division of property.

According to statistics data, suits filed in courts on civil conflicts often arouse as a result of family disputes over division of property.

A marriage contract- is an agreement, signed between individuals while getting married and its dissolution defines property rights and status of spouses. The marriage contract is legalized in written form and attested by the Notary Office.

The Central Registration and Notary Department of the Justice Ministry said that 81,756 people got married in 2007 with only 16 marriage contracts, 79,000 marriages in 2006 with 33 contracts and 71,619 marriages in 2005 with 19 marriage contracts.

The Department believes that as this contract is new in the legislation it is not so popular among individuals, which is the main reason of people's ignoring this contract.

According to Asad Mirzaliyev, judge of the Supreme Court, during marriage individuals do not pay much attention to this contract or they do not know anything about this contract.

The judge said that a marriage contract plays an important role in solving of property conflict between individuals, and it can be signed either before or after the marriage. Although the contract is signed until the marriage day, it comes into effect only after the marriage. A legal regulation of property is determined in this contract.

"If the contract does not anything special, the property, acquired during the marriage, is considered common and divided equally between individuals. In the case of the presence of under-age child, the share can be increased. However, this contract can also cover other issues beforehand. For example, the contract can show that 1/3 part of the property will belong to husband and the rest to wife or vice-versa," Mirzaliyev said.

Mirzaliyev said that sometimes it is considered that signing the contract would arouse a doubt on marriage duration and therefore, contract is not signed because of mentality reasons. "However, divorce problems happen in the families, married on mutual consent and love," a judge said.

The absence of a marriage contract creates problems in defining alimonies and providing with housing while divorcing. The judge said that the women demanding payment of alimonies can not determine the state of their husband's property without the marriage contract. "Husband introduces document that he is not employed or he earns only AZN50. In this case, the court has to determine a reasonable amount of the payment. Women claim that though his husband is not employed, he owns shops, sales outlets and earns AZN2,000-AZN3,000 a month. However none of these establishments has been registered under defendant's name. The women can not prove that these establishments have been registered under defendant's name. At present, majority of these establishments are not registered under the names of their owners.

Owners of the property register it not under their name in order to evade payments. Therefore, the court has to bring in a verdict on the basis of evidence provided by the parties. If the marriage contract is signed while being aware of the status of the parties, no problems arise. The contract can indicate an agreement on payment of AZN200-AZN300 for each child after divorce, the judge said.

According to Mirzaliyev, majority of the civil suits are related to the liquidation or providing right to housing (Article 228 of Civil Code).

The Article 228 of the Civil Code stipulates that marriage contracts with the owners must be attested by notary.

According to the judge, in practice, not only contract attested by notary, but also simple written agreement must be signed between owners and family members. Usually, in the early stage of this kind of disagreements, the family members move to the housing with the consent of the owner. Family rows arise while the family relations between users of the housing and other members of the family end.

Mirzaliyev offers couples to sign a contract with the owner of the property while getting married.

According to the judge, the couples should decide themselves whether to sign a marriage contract with the owner of the property. "The couples may hesitate to sign it. No one will sign marriage contract if they are not informed of its advantages. I believe that if the couple is offered marriage contract while getting married they will agree to sign it," Mirzaliyev said.

According to the judge, if the owner has given a written consent to his daughter-in-law to live in his apartment, he can not force her out of the apartment later. "If there are reasonable grounds, the owner can demand to cancel her rights to the property by paying the appropriate compensation," he said.

Mirzaliyev added that it is inadmissible to force the couples to sign a marriage contract. The marriage contract is not compulsory. "If couples are forced to sign it, the contract is invalid," he said. Registry offices should me more active in informing couples of the marriage contract. "Those getting married should be explained advantages of the contract," Mirzaliyev said.

The correspondent can be contacted at- [email protected]

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