Equitable Distribution of Pre-Marital home

Posted by: MIKEYJAY

Equitable Distribution of Pre-Marital home - 03/14/17 09:45 PM

My brother is in the process of going through a divorce and his ex wife is arguing that the home they resided in should be distributed equally. He purchased the home before they were married solely on his own and paid for it on his own. Anything home related is in his name only. She was collecting unemployment during the beginning of their marriage as well as during their engagement but contributed no money to the home. Her checks were given directly to her parents. She refused to sign a prenup but he proceed and got married despite that. They had 2 children during the marriage she stayed home with them and only sought employment one time during this period. They were married for 5 years before they split however for a few months before that time she was staying with her parents approximately 3 nights per week. Her lawyer referenced one specific court case which the woman was awarded equitable distribution because it was a marital home, however they were married significantly longer in the above mentioned case. Is there a way to find court ruled cases that show not distributed the home 50/50 if it was bought pre-marriage by one party and it too became the home they resided in during marriage? He offered her half of the amount he paid off in the mortgage during the time they were married since she claims she "took care of the home" but she is seeking half of the value. Thanks for any help or advice
Posted by: TJMH

Re: Equitable Distribution of Pre-Marital home - 03/15/17 05:41 PM

"Is there a way to find court ruled cases that show not distributed the home 50/50 if it was bought pre-marriage by one party and it too became the home they resided in during marriage?"

Probably so, but if the wife has a lawyer arguing her side your brother would be stupid to try to argue in court by himself. He needs a lawyer to help him identify precedents and make a proper legal argument.

"He purchased the home before they were married solely on his own and paid for it on his own."

Do you mean that the home was completely paid for with money that he had before the marriage? If so he's probably got a shot at getting most of the value of the house.

If you mean that he bought it before the marriage but made mortgage payments during the marriage out of "his" income (which, during the marriage, is community income even if he's the only one earning) then the house is probably a marital asset at this point and may be divided equally.
Posted by: MIKEYJAY

Re: Equitable Distribution of Pre-Marital home - 03/15/17 05:57 PM

The home was purchased pre-marriage by my brother, the 20% down (about $55,0000) was solely his money, she contributed nothing. They were married about 5 years and she lived in the house during that time with no job contributing nothing. He has made 5 years of mortgage payments. I don't think the house gained much in value since he bought it. We feel that $55,000 down payment should not be considered part of any equitable distribution.
Posted by: MinnesotaMom

Re: Equitable Distribution of Pre-Marital home - 03/22/17 04:38 AM

I would argue that she get 50% of the increase in value since day 1 of the marriage up until separation; nothing before or after.

Are you sure the house hasn't gone up in value? The last 5 years have produced significant increased values in most parts of the country.