Separation of property is: “the distribution of the property acquired by the spouses or permanent partners from the time of marriage or since the formation of the patrimonial partnership and until the time they decide to terminate the property partnership or marital partnership or patrimonial partnership. It can be done on the occasion of the divorce or within the marriage. As of said distribution, the property partnership is terminated” (Notary 15 of Bogota).
It is important to clarify that this does not suspend the obligations between them, nor does it transfer all the powers that the spouses have in divorce proceedings. In addition, it can be done by mutual agreement or in a contentious manner.
This procedure can be carried out through a notary, conciliation center or a judicial process, in a voluntary jurisdiction process when the separation of property is by mutual agreement, or through a verbal process before the judge of the domicile of the defendant or of the plaintiff if the marital domicile is preserved when the process is contentious. Once the sentence is obtained, it must be registered in the civil registry of marriage. The grounds for requesting the separation of property are the same as those contemplated for divorce, as set forth in Article 154 of the Civil Code.
The requirements for the separation of assets are as follows
- Identification documents.
- Authentic copy of the Civil Registry of Marriage. If it was made before June 15, 1938, the ecclesiastical certificate replaces the previous authentic copy.
- If among the assets acquired by the spouses or partners and which are to be distributed there is real estate, the certificates of good standing for property tax and valorization must be presented. If the property is subject to horizontal property, the certificate of good standing for the payment of the administration fee is also required.
- If debts are included in the inventory, the document that proves it must be presented.
- If the marital partnership was terminated as a consequence of divorce or by cessation of civil effects, or by separation of bodies or property, or by nullity of the marriage, this termination must be recorded in the copy of the Civil Registry of Marriage in order to initiate the separation of property.
In the event that the procedure is carried out in a notary’s office, the spouses or partners must be fully capable and must act in common agreement. If the procedure is done through a judicial process, a lawsuit must be filed in compliance with all the requirements stipulated in the General Process Code.
Finally, the main effect is that the spouses lose the right to the community property, due to the fact that there is no joint patrimony, but each one forms an independent one.