Can I receive 1/2 of everything from my marriage? 28 Answers as of July 04, 2013

I have been married for 3-1/2 years. We have been together for 27 years. If I divorce my husband will I be entitled to half of everything? His retirement is probably twice as much as mine, plus he receives money from various investments.

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Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
There's no "entitlement". Your problem for getting half is that you have been only married for a short time. I believe good arguments can be made for a greater share than a 3.5 year marriage would normally entitle you to, but you would best have an attorney handle it for you.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/11/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Unfortunately, with the facts you have presented here, NO. You are entitled to 1/2 of the community property. Property secured prior to marriage is separate property.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/8/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
You will be entitled to one half of any assets acquired during the marriage. The assets acquired before marriage will be deemed premarital assets of the person who acquired the asset.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 7/7/2011
Horizons Law Group, LLC
Horizons Law Group, LLC | Michelle B. Fitzgerald
WI law starts at a 50/50 division of property. It can be argued (both ways) to deviate from that for various reasons. You definitely need to work with an attorney given you have been together 27 years, but only married 3.5 years.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 7/7/2011
Dunnings Law Firm
Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
You cannot recover for anything acquired during your period of cohabitation unless you can prove ownership. Basically, you are looking for "Palimony" for the years you live together while unmarried. Michigan does not acknowledge that situation as being the same as marriage (Michigan does not recognize "Common Law Marriage").
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/7/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Please retain a divorce lawyer to help advise you as to all your rights and options, including your desire for an equitable division of marital property, which may or may not, depending on all the facts, be one-half. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller
    Law Office of Jackie Robert Geller | Jackie Robert Geller
    If you live in CA, you are entitled to a 50% share of all community property (property acquired during marriage).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Its "equitable distribution" not "community property", you will only get some portion of the 3-1/2 years.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    If you were married for only 3-1/2 years, in a divorce case, you would be entitled only to 1/2 of the community property, which would be the property accumulated during the marriage. Any property acquired by your husband in his sole name prior to the marriage would be his separate property. Your spousal support rights would be limited in duration to 1/2 the length of the marriage. You may or may not be entitled to "Marvin" rights regarding property accumulated prior to the marriage, and possibly, to "Palimony", but those matters are litigated in the Civil Court, not the Divorce Court, unless the cases are consolidated. Marvin and Palimony cases are difficult to win and expensive to litigate. They are based on written, oral, or implied agreements. Unfortunately, you would not be entitled to attorney's fees in a Marvin/Palimony case, whereas you would likely be entitled to an attorney's fee awarding the Divorce case. You should at least consult, if not retain, an experienced family lawyer to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Only half of the marital assets (those acquired during the marriage). Based on the duration that you were together, you may be entitled to some form of short term alimony such as bridge the gap, but not half of all assets. I suggest you consult a local Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Law Office of Margaret D. Wilson
    Law Office of Margaret D. Wilson | Margaret Wilson
    Generally speaking a party is only entitled to receive of the community estate. The community estate usually consists of all property acquired during marriage not the result of a gift or inheritance. However, parties having lived with each other prior to marriage may have claims in contract. A party in that situation may want to review Marvin v. Marvin (1976) 18 Cal.3d 660.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/7/2011
    Law Office of Xochitl Anita Quezada
    Law Office of Xochitl Anita Quezada | Xochitl Anita Quezada
    You will only be entitled to half of what was acquired during the marriage. As for retirement, you will be entitled to half of what was earned during those three and a half years.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    You need to consult a domestic relations attorney for successful pre divorce planning. In general, you will be enitled to half of the marital assets. Those are the assets collected during the term of the marriage. Ohio is not a common law marriage state, so it is likely you will get one half of the money contributed to the 401(k) during the last 3.5 years. But please see a local attorney for complete information.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Unfortunately, you will probably only be entitled to an equitable division of property that was acquired during the marriage. But you never know how an individual judge will view the facts, so you need to consult with an attorney in your area regarding your specific case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    While there is attached Supreme Court case law that says the court can only look at the length of the marriage other factors such as health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills and employability may be able to overcome that to some extent. The information contained in this email may be confidential and/or legally privileged. It has been sent for the sole use of the intended recipient(s).
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    This is not going to be a simple answer. New Jersey is not, a 'community property' state, and you do not automatically get half of everything. You will be entitled to an 'equitable' share (usually half) of all property acquired during your 3 1/2 year marriage. for the rest of the 27 years, you may be able to make a claim on several grounds, which I can talk to you about in detail when I know a bit more about your situation.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    You can receive half of the assets and liabilities created during your marriage. Without a written donation of the portion of retirement and investments earned while you were not married, you will not be entitled to receive from that property.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    For the sake of clarity, I need to make a couple of assumptions. First, I assume that you two have been together in some fashion for the last 27 years. Second, that 3 years ago (about) the two of you got married. Third, that you are now about to file for divorce. You ask if you can get "half" of all of the property. Maybe. You might get half. You might get more than half. You might get less than half. There are a number of factors that have to be considered. First, the statute says that the court is supposed to make what the court believes is a fair and equitable division of all of the property. Some of the factors that the court is supposed to consider in deciding what "fair and equitable" is include: the ages of the parties; the health of the parties; the work history of the parties; the education of the parties; the nature and extent of the separate and community property; and the duration of the marriage. Second, the courts deal with marriages differently depending on the duration of the marriage. The case law says that in a short term marriage (less than 7 years), the court is, to the extent practicable, to put the parties back into the positions they were in just prior to the marriage. So, if we only look at your 3 year marriage, this would be a short term marriage, and you might well end up with less than half of the property that is out there. Further, only the property accumulated during the 3 years of marriage would count as community property. Third, in Washington, there is a thing called a "meretricious relationship." There are a number of technical requirements that have to be met before a court would say that you are in a meretricious relationship. If you meet all of the technical requirements of a meretricious relationship, this could be to your advantage. That is because the court then considers (for property division purposes) the entire 27 years of the relationship and not just the last 3 years. All of the property accumulated during the relationship would be what is called "quasi-community" property. This could definitely be to your advantage. Because the requirements for a meretricious relationship are technical, and because the difference could be quite large, you should hire an attorney to represent you with your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    First, it sounds like you may have been in a quasi-marital relationship before the marriage. That will have to be established first. Second, the length of the relationship is only oneof many factors the courtlooks at to determine what isa fair and reasonable division of your debts and property. Therefore, you may be entitled to more or less than 50% of everything depending on these factors. See an attorney. Consider using the collaborative process to solve your differences.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    The Coyle Law Office
    The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
    You would likely only be entitled to of the assets accumulated during the marriage. So, you would likely be able to get only of the increase in value of your husbands retirement during the 3 year marriage, not for 27 years.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    No. By law, you are only entitled to a fair share of the marital property. That may or may not be "everything" because the first requirement will be to separate the marital property from any separate property. A "fair" share may or may not be exactly 50% that partly depends on what kind of property is in dispute and how it was acquired. It also could depend on what you and your husband agree is fair; a judge will only get involved if you and he cannot agree to what is fair. For the property issues, the 24 years you were together but not married doesn't necessarily mean much - particularly his retirement pension - because property that is acquired before marriage is not entitled to the presumption that it is marital property. That presumption only applies to the actual period for which you were married. But, again, those legal rules do not prevent you and your husband agreeing to anything you both agree is fair.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC
    Vincent J. Bernabei LLC | Vincent J. Bernabei
    You are entitled to receive of everything acquired during the marriage. In addition, if you were in a "domestic partnership" (unmarried cohabitation) for 27 years, you may be entitled to receive an equitable share of property acquired during the partnership. At a minimum, you should be entitled to spousal support (alimony) on a long term basis when you divorce. You should contact an attorney to determine your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law community property (property that is acquired during the marriage, but not by gift or inheritance) is divided in a divorce, but not necessarily 50/50. You might receive more or less than 50% of the community based on a number of factors including how much separate property each party has and what the relative earning power of each party is. Also, since you lived together for a long period of time prior to the marriage, the court would also need to look at your relationship during that period to decide whether property acquired during that period should be treated like community property.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
    William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
    No, only half of what was acquired in the last 3 1/2 years.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    The court will make a fair and equitable division of your assets and debts (not necessarily 50/50). Although you have only been married for 3.5 years, if you can demonstrate you were in a "committed intimate relationship" for the full 27 years, the division of assets and debts may apply to property acquired over the entire relationship.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/6/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Georgia is not a community property state, so there is no 50-50 division. Georgia does do what is called equitable division of property, in which a court would decide what, if anything, is to be divided and in what percentage. Having a good lawyer, especially as to pension division, matters a great deal.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/6/2011
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