A home which is originally sole and separate property of a spouse prior to a marriage remains the sole and separate property of that spouse after marriage, with at least one, if not more exceptions. One exception: During the marriage if the owner makes payments on that property's mortgage with marital income, then the principal pay down of the equity becomes marital property, which can be subject to division upon divorce. However, here, you say that the property which was owned prior to marriage was sold 5 years after marriage. What was done with the proceeds of this sale? Was it spent on living expenses, in which case there would be no legal obligation for division upon divorce because marriage mates are required by law to provide for the living expenses of the other marriage mate. However, if the sale proceeds were segregated and invested somewhere, if any portion of those sales proceeds were marital property, and if that marital property is still traceable at a divorce, then you can receive your half of the marital property at divorce. If you are considering divorce and would like further advice, feel free to give me a call. You can reach me at (410) 381-1656. I am at your service. David Mahood, Esq.
This answer is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY and does NOT constitute Legal Advice and does NOT establish an Attorney/Client Relationship because you have not provided me with a COMPLETE set of the FACTS, and therefore my answer cannot address your specific situation. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. A Consultation, Retainer and a fully signed and dated Legal Services Agreement (a contract) will be required if you would like to obtain my representation. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.
At the divorce trial, the Court will identify, value and equitable divide the marital property. If the property was owned free and clear prior to the marriage and no money was put into the property during the marriage, it's her non-marital property. If it was acquired prior to the marriage but money was spent during the marriage to make mortgage payments, pay taxes, make improvements to the property, then it's partially marital and partially non-marital and you've probably acquired an equitable ownership interest in the property from the use of marital funds. At trial, the Court will try to determine what portion of the property is yours. You may request that the Court make a "monetary award" to you to adjust the interests of the parties in the various assets. If granted, the Court will order your spouse to pay you a specific amount as and for your share of the marital estate. If the monetary award is not paid as directed, you will have an enforceable Judgment against your spouse that you would then pursue to collect payment of your monetary award. Obviously, this issue is complicated. You should consult an experienced attorney. An attorney can help you get the right evidence introduced at trial to help you get that monetary award and can help you enforce and collect the Judgment if it comes to that. This is a complicated issue and you shouldn't try to handle it yourself.
This answer is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the reader. The author is an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland and the article is based solely on Maryland law.
Sign up to receive a 10-part series of useful information and legal advice about the divorce process.