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Civil Law in Malta

Civil Law in Malta

Civil Code of Malta comprises different laws, acts, as well as the Civil Procedure Code. This is based on the Roman law evolving after to the Napoleonic Code with strong similarities from the Italian Civil Law. In this article, we provide information about Civil Code Laws of Malta, mentioning that  our Maltese lawyers can offer legal advice on this topic.

The laws of the Civil Code in Malta

There are several regulatory frameworks that together establish the Civil Code of Malta. The legislation is based on:

  • the Administration of Lands Act,
  • the Children and Young Persons Act, also known as Chapter 285,
  • the Data Protection Act,
  • the Home Ownership or Encouragement Act,
  • the Immovable Property or Acquisition by Non-Residents Act,
  • the Land Registration Act,
  • the Marriage Act,
  • the Promises of Marriage Law,
  • the Marriage Legacies Law,
  • the Code of Organization and Civil Procedure.

More about the Civil Law in Malta can be discussed with our Maltese attorneys. They can provide legal advice tailored to your needs.

Buying a house in Malta is not a complicated process if you decide on working with local lawyers. They can advise you from a legal point of view, regarding the purchase of houses, hotels, land, office spaces, and other properties as long as they aren’t state-owned. Our specialists can handle the preparation of the necessary documents as well as the verification of those related to the chosen property. We can represent you when the sale-purchase contract is signed.

Chapter 16 of the Civil Law in Malta

The most complete legislation on civil laws is comprised in the Civil Law of Malta or Chapter 16 that is divided into two books and three schedules:

  1. The first book, also called the book of persons, defines laws on marriage, duties of spouses, divorce and what are the children’s rights in case of divorce. Further on, the Civil Law states what adoption and tutors are. The first book of the Civil Code and Laws of Malta also contains provisions over the acts of birth, marriage and death.
  2. The second book in the Civil Code of Malta, known as the book of things, is far more ample and is made up of two parts. The first part defines movable and immovable property, ownership and use of property. It further refers to common property, the possession and sale of common property. Part two of the second book of the Civil Code in Malta refers to the right of people to purchase and transfer property, the laws of succession and will. The law of wills states the existence of ordinary and privileged wills.

The second part continues with the provisions on obligations and contracts, the elements that validate a contract, the definitions of quasi-contracts, the law of torts and quasi-torts. Obligations can have the form of divisible and indivisible obligations that can be disabled by payment.

The Maltese Civil Code also provides the legal definitions of debt, merger, contract of sale, seller and buyer and their obligations. In terms of contract, lease and work contracts are also defined.

The schedules of the Civil Code in Malta define fees and their forms and legal entities, such as types of Maltese companies, their registration and the Maltese Trade Register.

The Code of Organization and Civil Procedure in Malta

According to the Civil Law in Malta, the Code of Organization and Civil Procedure, also known as Chapter 12, is made up of three books:

  •  the first book defines the Maltese judicial system and the legal profession,
  •  the second book defines the court procedures in civil matters,
  •  the third book defines the elements of the judicial procedures, such as evidence, witnesses and referees.

Divorce in Malta

According to the Civil Code in Malta, divorce proceedings can be initiated by one of the two spouses. The court grants the divorce if:

  • There are no ways to reconcile the two spouses.
  • The spouses are legally separated and have lived in different houses for at least 4 years.
  • There is clear evidence of domestic abuse or infidelity.

Once the divorce application is accepted, the custody of the minor children, if any, is established and the assets accumulated in the marriage are divided. We mention that each spouse needs to be represented by a lawyer in Malta. He/she offers specialized legal advice in order to be able to conclude the marriage correctly, with the help of divorce.

Annulment of marriage

There are cases where the marriage can be annulled. This request is made formally, and the instant will be the one who has to decide if the marriage can be annulled. Among the reasons why a marriage can be annulled are:

  • The marriage was not accepted by both partners. As a result, one of them was forced to marry.
  • If one of the spouses was not mentally fit when he or she got married, the marriage may be annulled.
  • If the marriage has not been consummated, it may be annulled.

This case is mentioned by Civil Law in Malta. To better understand how to act legally, we recommend that you talk to our attorneys in Malta.

Child custody according to the Civil Code in Malta

Once the divorce is filed, the custody of the minors is established. Both parents have responsibilities regarding their children, and the legislation is quite firm about their proper upbringing and development, in an optimal environment.

The court may establish the child’s new residence, alimony to be paid by one of the parents, visitation rights, child care, and many more. However, before these issues, according to the Civil Code and Laws of Malta, the authorities can make investigations at the children’s homes, to ensure that they live in a suitable environment.

As these situations are quite sensitive and complicated, it is good to discuss the legal aspects with one of our Maltese lawyers. They can explain what you need to do and prepare to appear in court.

Civil Law in Malta and property purchase

There are no restrictions on the purchase of a real estate in Malta by foreigners, as long as they are not state-owned. Once the property in Malta is chosen, those who want to buy it must consider certain aspects:

  • Talk to a real estate due diligence lawyer and make sure the property has no legal issues or debts.
  • Check all documents submitted before purchase. A lawyer in Malta can help.
  • Acquisition of Immovable Property or AIP permit is required for citizens of non-EU countries who want to buy a property in Malta.
  • A preliminary agreement is signed if both parties have agreed on the price of the property.
  • All documents then go before the notary for a final evaluation and agreement.
  • Taxes are paid for the sale and purchase of property in Malta.

We remind you that one of our lawyers in Malta can tell you more about property purchase conditions, as stated by the Civil Code in Malta.

In terms of business in Malta, the country offers excellent conditions for foreign investors. Here are some interesting things about the country’s economy:

  • More than USD 240 billion was the total FDI in Malta in 2020.
  • The economic growth recorded in 2021 was around 4.8% in Malta.
  • Malta has direct connections to over 115 ports in the world.
  • Malta has signed more than 50 double taxation treaties with countries around the world.

For further details about the Civil Code of Malta you can contact our Maltese lawyers. Legal assistance in civil matters can be offered on request.