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The Family Homestead in Costa Rica


The Family Homestead in Costa RicaThe Family Homestead in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica it is possible to have the family homestead legally declared and registered on title to the property.  What is the advantage.   According to Article 42 of the Family Code once a property is designated as the family homestead the property may not be encumbered without the mutual consent of both spouses. In addition the property may not be  encumbered or subject to liens by any creditors of the property owner.  It in fact shields the property from any collection actions related to the individual debts of the property owners.  The exception is for joint debts incurred by the both spouses. 

In order to have the property declared as the family Homestead both spouses must personally appear before a Costa Rican Notary Public and request that the homestead be recorded on the title to the property which places third parties on notice.

The homestead designation can be removed from title in the following cases:

a)  By mutual agreement between the spouses
b)  Due to the death of the beneficiaries or if they reach the age of majority in the case of minors
c)  When granted in a divorce decree
d)  When requested by one of the property owners in a judicial proceeding
e)  When the home is no longer used as the family homestead after proper findings of fact by a Court Tribunal.


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