can I purchase a house with money i have received as a gift after i was legally seperated? I am scheduled to be divorced (uncontested) in one mnth. Will i owe my soon to be ex-spouse anything? I am scheduled to close on this house tom?
General Practice Lawyer
Thanks for using Avvo. I am an Avvo Staff Moderator. To read more about our moderation team, follow the link below. Our current question volume may increase the response times of our loyal Avvo lawyer-answerers. My goal is to give you some preliminary information and guidance regarding your legal situation while you wait for an attorney in your area to respond.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that spouses' property should be divided in a way that is fair. Generally, property that is received as a gift during marriage will be protected from division in a divorce and will continue to be treated as separate property. I strongly suggest that you contact a family law attorney in your area.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I'm not one to push using a lawyer in every answer to a post here, but from what you're describing - you should take some of that money and at least consult with an attorney. It's a straight-up financial issue and the answer is not that simple. Although generally any assets (or debts) acquired after a complaint is filed is separate, and money received via an individual gift or inheritance to either of you isn't subject to distribution, there can be complications. In one published case, Stiffler v. Stiffler, the court imputed money from an inheritance even though the recipient used it to buy a house, holding that he should have invested it and used the money for support.
Again, it can be a little tricky and I'd suggest getting counsel who specializes in Family Law to go over all the facts. It will depend on how much was received, what the other support provisions are and possibly other factors.
If Keypot is in Ocean County (?), I suggest looking up Eric Hannum (Google him); a former Family Part law clerk who knows what he's doing.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
Using the written documentation you have is a good place to begin. Contact a local lawyer - many may give you a free consultation for an hour - to discuss your specifics. Far too many variables exist in the short post you wrote for any further observation by me.
Good luck to you.
NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney with whom you have established an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question.