Question #136

The fact that you were not listed on the deed indicates that the property was a gift to your husband and not to you despite what you may have been told or promised. As such, you do not have an equity interest in the property.

However, if you have been contributing to its upkeep and the capital improvements made to the house, you have may have a claim to be reimbursed for such money invested. For this reason, it is essential to have an experienced attorney in matrimonial matters prepare all documents before and after marriage or divorce; such matters should not be left to self-help.

The increase in the value of the home belongs to the owner, and the deed expressly states that the owner is your husband and not you. Since it was acquired by gift, as opposed to monies earned by your husband during the marriage, it is his separate property and not marital property, and thus not subject to equitable distribution.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions