Q: House was purchased during marriage. Deed and mortgage only in wifes name. Down payment was a gift to the wife.
Husband has a history of job instability. Wife is main and at times only source of income. Husbands habits have caused debt.Is husband entitled to home and her pension if they divorce
Title does not control the nature of the property as separate or community: that's a question of whether the house was purchased during the marriage, whether there's a prenuptial/ postnuptial agreement or other separate property agreement, and other factors.
More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.
A: By law in NY, assets acquired during the course of a marriage are presumptively "marital assets". The person or persons in whose name(s) the deed is held does not determine equitable ownership. There are exceptions or factors that can become relevant, such as: the source of funds used to buy the asset (e.g., was the downpayment made with pre-marital assets?); did either party receive a legally qualified gift or a bequest (e.g., inheritance), and can that gift be traced so as to show that it was the or a source of a downpayment or separate contribution?; even if you can prove the source of funds was a gift or bequest, were those moneys co-mingled with the other party's assets after their receipt? You would be well-advised to consult an experienced Family Law/Matrimonial Law attorney.
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