If you received property at zero or negative value you committed no fraud. I don’t exactly know what you are worried about.
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Usually, there is some trustworthy method used to ascertain the value of real estate when dividing up property in a divorce. The best way is the most expensive way, a paid appraisal. Did you do appraisals for each property? Or did you have a real estate broker Comparative Market Analysis to give you and your ex a good idea as to the values of the properties?
Fraud occurs when a person lies about what is going on, and induces the other person to rely upon the lie to the harm of the other person. If you acted in good faith without resorting to any lies or misrepresentations, then you are probably safe. I say, "Probably" because I do not know all the facts. If you would like further help, feel free to give me a call. By the way, I graduated from Dublin High School and lived in your area from 1973 to 1977, and then lived in Northern CA until 2010, when I came here to MD. Your area was a great place to live. I am licensed in both California and Maryland. If you would like assistance, most of my work is done long distance anyway, whether my clients are in CA or MD.
Office: (410) 381-1656. This is NOT legal advice, is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and does NOT establish an Attorney/Client Relationship with you because you have not yet retained me, and because you have not provided me with a COMPLETE set of all the FACTS in your legal situation. Therefore my answer cannot address your specific legal situation and you should not rely upon my answer in your legal matter. This answer is provided as GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and to assist you in beginning your own research or in finding an attorney to represent you. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. If you want me to provide legal advice, then you must call for a Consultation. If you would like me to represent you, then a Retainer and a fully signed and dated Legal Services Agreement (a contract) will be required. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.
Some written appraisal reports showing what those 5 properties were worth at the time she agreed to transfer them to you would surely be helpful. If the properties were in fact worth zero or negative at the time of transfer, but then went up later, she should have no case. but if you got the properties at a zero value when they were worth much more she could win. I suggest that you get those appraisals done.
If you had no bad intent, but just got "lucky" by getting the properties for less than they were actually worth she might argue you perpetrated a Constructive Fraud on her and could possibly get a recovery from you. There are fiduciary duties under Family Code 721(b) that preclude you from taking any unfair advantage of her. Also look at Civil Code 1573:
If the appraisals show that the 5 properties were worth at or very near the zero & negative values used, then you should consider asking the Court to make her pay your legal fees for wasting everyone's time.
As stated above -- I have NOT actually stated any legal opinion, because I need to know more before I can start to form one.
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