After one year of marriage, my wife committed adultery and wants a divorce. We have no children. We own a house together that has no equity in it as I used a VA loan with no-money-down. I understand that she has no sufficient grounds for divorce. We are selling the house, and as it turns out, it will be a reasonably hefty profit. Since I believe her contribution to the marriage was minimal; she only paid her half of the mortgage, and I paid all other bills and substantially all home improvement costs, is there any advantage to delaying the separation agreement until after the sale of the house. Certainly, she’s entitled to some money, but I don’t want to give her half of the profit. It doesn’t seem very equitable to me. What should I do?
You did not indicate what state you were located in. In New York, which is an “equitable distribution” state, assuming you acquired the house after your marriage, your spouse would be entitled to half the net profits from the sale. However, you may be entitled to compensation for your separate contribution of home improvement costs and other amounts of money invested by you in the equity of the house. I strongly suggest you consider divorce mediation to resolve these and other matters outstanding (e.g., spousal support, division of other marital assets such as retirement accounts, etc.).
If you are located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss further.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions