New amendments to the Family Code of the Russian Federation

A new bill (No. 557616-8 "On Amending Article 35 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation") has been introduced to the State Duma, according to which the written consent of the spouse will be required to conclude a transaction for the sale of a motor vehicle (car, motorcycle, snowmobile, snowmobile, snowmobile). In the absence of such a document, the disagreeing spouse has the right to demand in court that the transaction be recognized as invalid within one year when he or she found out or should have found out about the transaction.

According to the current Family Code of the Russian Federation, when one of the spouses makes a transaction on the disposal of the common property of the spouses, it is assumed that he/she acts with the consent of the other spouse. However, such a transaction may be recognized by the court as invalid if the other spouse proves the fact of his (her) disagreement prior to the implementation of the transaction. Judicial practice shows that it can be extremely difficult to prove this.

The explanatory note to the bill states that the vast majority of transactions falls on the alienation of vehicles, and in some cases the value of movable property exceeds the value of real estate (apartments, houses, land plots, shares in them). Thus, the consent of the second spouse may be given in a simple written form, the joint participation of spouses in the transaction is not excluded either. Where both spouses are named in the contract, a separate written consent isn’t required.

Thus, in the event of a court challenge to the transaction, the spouse who did not participate in it is relieved of the obligation to prove that the other party to the transaction knew or should have known of his or her opposition to the transaction, since the evidence will be the very fact of the absence of written consent.