Am I entitled to anything in divorce if we had separate accounts and my name was not on the home title? 24 Answers as of June 13, 2011

I have had a 7 year relationship which included 15 months only of marriage. My husband bought our home 3 months before we married and would never agree to add my name to the house. Throughout our marriage I found that he had hidden money from me. Also, my name is on one of his accounts but he wouldn't agree to combine totally and didn't want me contributing to that account. He wanted me to keep my own. I did a lot of work to the house. In finding out other things he was hiding, he then told me he wanted a divorce. I own a town home that is rented out by my mother so I am now staying there but all of my stuff is still in our home. Am I entitled to anything? Thanks

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Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
You are entitled to whatever accrued during your marriage. That means that if both of you worked during that fifteen months, then whatever was earned, saved or invested during that time should be fairly divided between the two of you. Whatever each of you owned before the marriage, even though you were together, has no bearing on equitable distribution. I'm sorry, but you are probably making the right decision if he never had any intention of sharing anything with you after you were married. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/13/2011
Vermeulen Law office P.A.
Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
The laws on divorce vary among states. In the state of Minnesota, the date of the marriage will start your marital interest in property, although there are exceptions. In order to determine what will likely occur in your property division, consult an experienced family attorney.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 6/13/2011
Gresham Family & Bankruptcy Law
Gresham Family & Bankruptcy Law | Lillian Suelzle Watson
To answer your question, division of your and your husband's personal and real property does not depend on how the title is held. If it was purchased during your relationship with it will be considered as part of the marital estate. The property will be divided between you as "is just and proper". This looks at who work, the homemaker role and care for your children. Just because accounts are in your husband's name, does not mean that you don't have a right to make a claim for a share of the account. You should probably seek the advice of an attorney. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 6/13/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
This is not a question that can be easily answered by e-mail. I recommend that you have a face-to-face consultation with an experienced Family Law Attorney regarding the particulars of your situation, to receive advice on each issue that may be appropriate to your situation, and if a divorce case is served, I recommend that you retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in the divorce.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/13/2011
Rice & Co., LPA
Rice & Co., LPA | Kollin Rice
Ohio is a common law property state, but in a divorce there is supposed to be an equitable division of property. The way assets are titled does not necessarily have a bearing on who they would be awarded to. Any money earned by either spouse during the marriage is a marital asset subject to division, as is any equity in the house that accumulated during the marriage, whether from your contribution or by the paying down of debt with marital earnings. That being said, with a short-term marriage, the amount of assets that are marital in character is usually a small proportion of the total.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    In Ohio and Michigan, you wold be entitled to some of the property acquired during the term of the marriage. This is a local law question, though. Please see a local attorney for further information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Yes, you do have various rights in this situation, so I urge you to retain a divorce lawyer as soon as possible, to discuss all the facts, along with your rights and options. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    The house was bought prior to marriage, so it is separate property. You are out of luck in that regard. You can get up to 1/2 of the increase in accounts during the marriage, but he can do the same to your accounts. Ask yourself, is it worth the effort. You are entitled to 1/2 of the property bought during the marriage though, and keep in mind, if he earned money and stacked away $50K during the marriage, that $50K is community subject to division. You can ask for contribution to the home, you said you do work on it, if you took your separate assets and spent them on the home, you can ask for reimbursement - it is a tough thing to win, but if this was only a 15 month marriage, you may still have receipts which makes it much more viable an argument.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    You are entitled to a fair share of what is determined to be marital property. If either of you own it now, it is presumed to be marital (regardless of whose name is on the title or account) until it is proven to be separate. Even if owned before marriage, any increase in value of an asset during the marriage is considered marital property. The length of time you were together before marriage may have some relevance to what is a fair outcome, but it isn't equal to being married. You need to consult an attorney who can give you a better idea of what to expect after being able to review all the facts and circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    You are entitled to one-half of all community assets and your separate property (acquired pre-marriage or during marriage by gift or inheritance). The home is his separate property (unless you contributed to the purchase) but the community acquired a pro-tanto interest in the property through the principal reduction payments and improvements made during the marriage. You would be entitled to one-half of the value of those improvements. If you are looking for an attorney and are in my area, please contact me for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    Yes. You may very well be entitled to something. Exactly how much you are entitled to will depend on the details of your case. There is a thing in Washington called a meretricious relationship. If you meet all of the criteria for that, then, the court can treat the entire 7 years like you were married for purposes of dividing the property and not just the 15 months of actual marriage. If your case fits into those circumstances, then, the house that was purchased just before the marriage, might be treated as quasi-community property, entitling you so some sort of share of it. But, exactly how much will depend on a number of factors.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
    You have a right to request a portion of any property that was acquired while you were married regardless of whose name it is in. An attorney can help you to calculate what you should receive and present your case to the judge.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    You have equitable claims to all assets of each other and the court will look at each party's contribution to the acquisition preservation or maintenance of the asset, no matter whose name it is in. The court looks at the term of the marriage only. You must disclose all assets on your Financial Affidavits so that you will know everything he has.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    You may have certain things you are entitled to receive but you don't give enough information to flesh out the issue. Also, this is a short marriage. I am not sure how much of anything you would be entitled to.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/13/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    In a divorce, it mattes little whose name is on a debt or an asset title. Any asset that was acquired during the marriage is deemed marital and, as a result, capable of division in the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    What you are entitled to is up to a court to decide. Generally any community property (acquired during the marriage) will be divided. In addition, there is the possibility that property acquired while you were living together may be subject to division. Consult with an attorney in your area as to your specific situation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Anything that was used for the mutual benefit of the marriage is subject to your argument that it was part of the marital estate and subject to division. Further, the divorce courts are courts of equity, meaning the judges do what they think is fair. You may convince the judge that the deceptive behavior justifies a split in your favor. There is no requirement that the split be 50/50.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    Any asset acquired during the marriage will probably be divided equally. If the equity in the home has increased during your marriage, you should be entitled to 50% of that increase in equity. Additionally, if you made financial or non-financial contributions (sweat equity) to the home, you have a valid claim to an equitable share of the entire equity in the family home, even if the home is not in your name. Any increase in value in any account from the date of marriage to the date of divorce will probably be divided equally.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, the court will make a fair and equitable division on all property.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    There are no entitlements under Georgia law. Whether you would have a realistic case regarding equity in the house and division of other property would depend on the facts of the case and certain legal theories that you would have to discuss with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Michael Rose Attorney at Law
    Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
    Having your name on title is not as important as to when the house was purchased. Sometimes husband (or wife) may not put their name on the loan or the house because their credit score is low. Was it purchased during marriage? Is the house upside down? If yes, then nothing to share except maybe the tax that might be owing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    In Georgia, the answer is that property acquired before the marriage is usually not divisible. You can't expect to live together illegally and then expect a court to pretend you were married and help you. That is a choice you made which always goes badly in Court. Nonetheless, you should see a lawyer to deal with what can be divided, which is what you acquired during the marriage. Any increase in value to the home while you were married likely can be divided.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/10/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    Absolutely possible. Title is not very important. We don't have common law marriage in Washington but your pre-marriage relationship period may be a quasi-marital relationship. Anything acquired during the marriage, and sometimes the relationship is up for a fair and equitable division. You'll need legal help however. Get some free consultations. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2011
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