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Is it legal or not for a spouse to damage property owned by the other party prior to marriage?

Birch Run, MI |

I owned this home before we met. We separated and she vandalized it! When I called the cops, they said she could destroy it because we are still married!

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

There is no crime as it is marital property. You should file a PPO and/or Divorce asking for exclusive use of the home.

Posted

Technically, that's correct because the eyes of the law would see it as a person destroying essentially their own property (which is not a crime.) What you would need to do is to seek an attorney to help with your divorce proceedings (let's face it, you are heading that way soon enough) and see if they can help you itemize the damages to make her responsible for compensating you for it. You may run into the same problem you are facing with the cops, though, so a lawyer in MI would know whether you can collect or you are just going to have to chalk this up to a learning experience and move on.

This answer is provided as a general opinion to a question posted on an internet forum. This does not create in either party the expectation that an attorney-client relationship has been entered into between the original poster and the Law Office of Reid Seino, LLC. Any information provided should not be solely taken as legal advice but in the context of general information. Please seek legal representation for any specific legal questions.

Posted

Your spouse has an equitable interest in the property even if it is titled in your name. That does not mean that you are without a remedy in divorce. You can seek a judgment for money damages associated with the loss.

Daniel
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