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If a spouse purchases property before the marriage is that consider non-marital? Can the spouse ask for money from home equity?

District Heights, MD |

Husband is filling for divorce everything is in my name and he has worked out of state. He was not helping with the bills. Now he wants money for the house, which was purchased by me with my money..

Attorney Answers 4


  1. It seems to be non-marital on its face. However it is very likely that you and your spouse paid towards the "acquisition" of the house or property via payments after you were married. If do this creates a mixed non-marital and marital property.

    Often in those cases the lawyers work to identify the non-marital value and then the spouses negotiate to reach a settlement on the other spouses share. Many factors and information come into play including the spouses monetary and non monetary contribution to increasing the value of the property.

    You should consult with an attorney to find out more and protect your rights.


  2. The property is non marital and is separate but the appreciation may be marital and the payments toward the property may have used marital funds entitling the other spouse to credits.


  3. Non marital property can have marital attributes so answer gets complicated. Try asking for part of his pension if he has one. You may want to consult with an attorney.

    This is not to be considered legal advise and no attorney client has been established.


  4. I agree with all three attorneys, and I would add that when a spouse is asking for something which is intrinsically unfair, it can be a tipoff you are going to have a lot of problems as the case moves along. It is true that the husband probably has an interest in some of the principal paydown for the home loan during the marriage, but if he is arguing that he deserves half the equity simply because you married him, then tell him "No," that he will only get what is required by law. If he is still unreasonable, then you might want to consider hiring an attorney to protect what is yours. If you need further advice, feel free to give me a call.

    Office: (410) 381-1656. This is NOT legal advice, is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and does NOT establish an Attorney/Client Relationship with you because you have not yet retained me, and because you have not provided me with a COMPLETE set of all the FACTS in your legal situation. Therefore my answer cannot address your specific legal situation and you should not rely upon my answer in your legal matter. This answer is provided as GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and to assist you in beginning your own research or in finding an attorney to represent you. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. If you want me to provide legal advice, then you must call for a Consultation. If you would like me to represent you, then a Retainer and a fully signed and dated Legal Services Agreement (a contract) will be required. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.

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