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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Constructive Trust


Term Definition Constructive Trust - a trust in favor of a deserving party created by operation of equitable law against someone who by questionable means and improper conduct obtains or holds the title to property that he or she should not.
Application in Divorce A constructive trust is a relationship with respect to property, and in divorce a question of constructive trust can happen in the distribution of property.

A constructive trust works by operation of law against someone who has by fraud or duress or abuse of confidence obtained or holds legal title to property which he should, in good conscience and equity, not hold and enjoy.

In a divorce, the application of constructive trust comes into play when one spouse improperly obtains title to marital assets.

Fraud need not always be a determining factor. A constructive trust may arise in the case where spouses establish a marital interest in a house when it is titled in the name of a third party, such as one or both of the their parents.

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