Primarily servicing the greater New York City metropolitan area



LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.
DIVORCE SOLUTIONS
206 East 38th Street
New York, N.Y. 10016
(212) 370-1660

FINANCIAL ISSUES - MARITAL PROPERTY V. SEPARATE PROPERTY

Question #8:
My best friend lives in TN. Her husband has committed adultery and wants a divorce. My friends lawyer told her that adultery was no big deal in TN and that basically he would get half of her horse farm because that is the way it is done in TN. I told her to find herself another lawyer, that this one she went to is full of shit. What do you think? Thanks.
Answer:
In order to properly advise your best friend I must have more factual information.
It is generally true, that the grounds for divorce are no longer considered when providing the marital assets unless some especially egregious facts are present and adultery is a ground for divorce in most states.
However, in order for her husband to have a claim to any part of her horse farm, it must be "marital property" (see definition in earlier "Questions and Answers") and therefore it is essential to know whether she acquired this property prior to the marriage, through her own money or by inheritance, and whether the title to the property was maintained in her name only. It is also important to know whether her husband contributed to the upkeep of the farm by paying a part of the mortgage or by some other means.
If she properly maintained the property individually and acquired it prior to the marriage, it should be considered separate, individual property and not marital property and thus not subject to distribution in a divorce proceeding.
I suggest she consult with an attorney she feels comfortable with who is trained in divorce mediation and is experienced in matrimonial law in the court which will have jurisdiction over her divorce.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions
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