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A purchaser has to ensure that a project has obtained all requisite approvals and sanctions. Various authorities under law have been empowered to accord sanctions and approvals, depending on the type of project and the area where it is located.
In appropriate cases, a commencement certificate, completion certificate, and finally an occupancy certificate are required. A check on whether the project is fraught with deviations or violations of the building bye-laws, zoning regulations, or whether public property has been encroached or whether the project is built on lake beds, also require to be looked into, to prevent penal consequences including the risk of demolition.
By virtue of a construction agreement, the developer agrees to construct an apartment in favour of the purchaser. Subsequently, a sale deed is executed and registered, thereby culminating the purchase. The purchaser can thereafter transfer the revenue records to his name. Formation of an apartment owners association: Finally, it is recommended that a check on the project as a whole, and the land itself being litigation-free, be done. It is suggested that a due diligence report be obtained from a competent legal professional well versed in this area of practice before purchasing an apartment to minimise the patent risk factor.
A new legislation governing the real estate sector is in the offing. As a first step, even before discussing the financial aspects, understand your cash flow. The next step is to sit across the table with your spouse and take account of all savings and assets.
Then, jot down the market value of these assets and savings. To value your assets, you can seek help from a financial planner or a consultant. The division of assets and savings is based on the contribution made by each spouse if they fail to reach an agreement on how to divide them.
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Existing loans should be looked at and decision taken on the basis of the contribution made by each. Dividing Assets Once you have listed the assets and liabilities along with their current worthit is time to divide them. Though the law has provisions for husband's rights over the wife's property if he is unable to maintain himself, in India the husband is considered as the default breadwinner.
If both are working, the husband might not have to pay for the wife's routine expenses. If the wife is not working, the husband might have to support her by paying a fixed sum periodically or making a one-time payment," says Sumit Vaid, founder, Ffreedom Financial Planners.
While dividing the assets, you must take into account the role played by each spouse. This is because one of you might be taking care of all the expenses while the other was contributing to the savings kitty.
If the wife is not employed or does not earn enough to support self, she is entitled to alimony. This is true even when she earns but her income is not enough to support the same living standard as that of her husband.
Child Care Things become more complicated if the couple has children. For, in such a case, the priority of the settlement is to protect their interests. Irrespective of who gets the custody of children, both would ideally want to arrange for their welfare.
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A female live-in partner has rights similar to a wedded wife if the couple has shared a relationship similar to marriage. If this condition is satisfied, she has the right to maintenance and residence. These will be transferred to the children after they attain adulthood," says Bimal Gandhi, chairman, Ameriprise India, a financial planning firm.
While planning for this, take into account the investments already made for children's education, health care and other expenses.
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If the parent who will take care of the children needs financial support, make sure the agreement mentions how the expenses will be shared. Inflation, too, needs to be considered as education and other costs are going up at a very fast pace," says Vaid of Ffreedom Financial Planners. A trust can also be set up. Trusts ensure distribution of income and assets according to the wishes of the settler the parents.
The assets are managed by the trustees for the benefit of the transferee the children in this case in accordance with the laid-down terms and conditions.
The trustee can be a trustworthy law firm or relatives that can ensure that the benefits of the assets are passed on to the child," says Gandhi of Ameriprise. Documentation After arriving at an understanding on how to share assets, liabilities and parental responsibilities, put everything in black and white.
You will have to inform the court about the settlement while applying for divorce. It should tackle all important issues related to separation such as alimony, child custody and splitting of assets and debts. Ensure that it is drafted and worded in such a manner that it gives both partners fair and equal rights," says Gupta of Fullerton Securities and Wealth Advisors.
In case you decide to share any liability or asset in the future, the agreement should mention it in detail, preferably with remedies in case one partner does not honour the agreement. Before arriving at the agreement on financial aspects of separation, you must start the groundwork by updating the records of all financial assets.
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Retain the bills of assets held in your name. Keep photocopies of bills of assets held jointly if you do not have the originals. Gupta makes another important point. It will help you answer any tax query raised by the authorities later," he says.