Spouse property transfers -- divorce

Asked 2 months ago - Albany, NY

I found out that during our marriage, my husband's father bought a property in poor condition, and then transferred it over to my husband (as a gift?) a month later so he was then the owner. During my husband's ownership of the property, it grew $100k in price due to renovations. When he found out I'm divorcing him he signed it back over to his father. Do I have any right to a percentage of the difference that occurred during his ownership during our marriage?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Paul Karl Siepmann

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    Answered . The key to your question turns on the facts behind the statement "it grew $100k in price due to renovations." Specifically - who did the renovations and how were they paid for? If the renovations were conducted by your father in law and your husband had no hand or money in the renovations, they you likely are entitled to nothing. Otherwise, I agree with the other answers you've received.

    I am not your attorney and any posts/messages or responses to posts/messages can not establish an attorney-client... more
  2. Jean M. Mahserjian

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    Answered . You have a claim to the appreciation in value. Your claim will be based on contributions made to that appreciation in value during your marriage. If your husband used marital money (income earned during the marriage) to renovate the property, your claim is clear. If your husband expended sweat equity, it is could be more difficult to prove your claim; but you still have a claim. If you have not consulted with an attorney, you should do so. If you have not filed for divorce, you should do so. During the divorce process, you will need to obtain all of the documentary information that you can about the property, the renovations, and the transfer back to his father.

  3. Maria C. Tebano

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . If he used marital funds to renovate the property, then you may be entitled to receive a credit for 50% of the cost of the renovations. If you actively contributed to the appreciation in the value of the property, then you may be entitled to receive a share of the appreciation. The transfer prior to a divorce action being commenced will have to be disclosed by your husband on his statement of net worth. You can find out if your husband transferred the property to his father for no consideration by searching for the deed on line.

  4. Nancy E. Stroud

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    Answered . If he invested marital money to renovate the property you may have an interest in it. Also, if he transferred the property after he was served with the automatic orders, he is in violation. Even if he transferred the property before he was served, you have a great legal argument which you can use to try to discredit him.

  5. Eric Kirwin Schillinger

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    Answered . Hello - a lot of this depends on the timing of your husband's actions. Was the property transferred before or after he was served with the divorce papers?

    You are entitled to a portion of the appreciation of the property based on your "contribution" to the property's increased value. That doesn't mean you had to be the one swinging the hammer druing the renovations though. I'll guess that the money that went into the property was "marital" money, and your work efforts to produce a portion of that money, or even the fact that you took care of other marital duties while your husband worked on this place could arguably be a basis to get a portion of the increased value.

    So typical legal answer - yes maybe. The next step would be to get more detail on when and how the transfer back to your father in law took place and exactly how the renovations that increased the value were completed.

  6. Andrew T. Velonis

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    Contributor Level 12

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    Answered . No, gifts are considered seperate property.

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