When I married, my wife had her home paid for but I put ~50,000 dollars of my money in remodeling it but my name is not on the deed/mortgage. If we divorce, can I claim half the remodeling cost?
It is possible if you can prove the amount to a court. The division of real property and other assets during dissolution is called "equitable distribution". When a court is in the process of dividing up property it is acting as a court of equity, not a court of law. This generally means that a court is acting with a philosophy of "fairness" in mind rather than acting within accordance to a particular body of law. However, law still plays a roll in guiding a judge. There is no guarantee that you will get that money back, but it is definitely something to bring up to a judge. Keep in mind though a judge can look at it is part of being married; that you lived there just like your wife and contributing to the maintenance and improvements of the house is just something you do when you are married and living together. Speaking with an attorney in your area is always the best way to go.
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