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Anticipated liquidation of community property

In Costa Rica, spouses may freely dispose of their property for the duration of the marriage. When such union ceases, each spouse acquires the right to the community property with respect to the patrimony of the other. One of the exceptions provided by our legislation to this rule is the anticipated liquidation of community property. In this blog we will discuss this in more detail.

Article 41 of the Family Code in force allows the anticipated liquidation of community property, that is, before the marriage is dissolved, «when the Court, upon request of one of the spouses, ascertains, in an indubitable manner, that the interests of the latter are at risk of being compromised by the mismanagement of his or her consort, or by acts that threaten to circumvent it.»

Mismanagement of the consort could occur, for example, by excessive indebtedness of the estate. The distraction, donation or sale of assets of the estate could qualify, depending on the circumstances, as acts that threaten to circumvent the interests of one of the spouses. 

The request for anticipated liquidation must be made before a competent Court in family matters. This process, due to its nature, requires the legal representation of an attorney duly authorized by the Costa Rican Bar Association. Pending a final judgment on the matter, the Court may order precautionary measures, such as the annotation of the lawsuit, in order to protect the interests of the plaintiff.

At CELIG we provide specialized services to the LGBTQI+ community. If you would like more information or to schedule an appointment with us, please call us at 4001-6439 or email us at

We are located in San Jose, Barrio Escalante.

M.Sc. Ana Isabel Sibaja Rojas

CELIG – Center for Equal Opportunity Litigation