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Am I entitled to equitable property division of house aquired during marriage which was paid for by spouse's father ?

Waterford, MI |

Divorcing after 8 years of marriage. Our house was paid for by Father-in-law and given to us but title is in husband and father-in-laws name with each named as survivor .During marriage I was the main breadwinner and supplied health insurance for us and our 2 children while he has a 5-6 hour a day job at a child care center and refused to look for better employment. And at divorce he now claims that I have no right to a division of our home. Is he correct ? We live in equitable division state (Michigan).

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Attorney answers 3


Generally speaking, a spouse is entitled to an equitable division of all marital assets. Please feel free to contact us. 248-758-2323.


In general, property acquired by the couple during a marriage is subject to division in a divorce. There are exceptions to this. For example a gift to one party from his family can be separate property, meaning that he receives the asset in the divorce without giving his spouse a share of the value. However, if the spouse contributed to the acquistion of the property or the maintenance of the property, she may be entitled to share in its value. Generally, a marital home is maintained by both parties. Questions to ask include, who paid the taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities on the property? Who physically did the cleaning, gardening, decorating and physical upkeep of the house? Assuming these tasks were shared with wife, she may have a claim. Also, the court will look at what other assets there are in the marriage.



You are raising a difficult issue. If the house was free and clear and paid for by your father in law and is in his name and your husband's you probably have a very week claim to the house. It is important to look at whatever else is involved in the marriage. Michigan is an equitable distribution state so more facts are needed to fully answer the question. You should talk to a lawyer who specializes in family law for more specific advice and information. Good lukc to you.

Henry Gornbein

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