Helena, AL asked in Divorce for Alabama

Q: Am I entitled to some type of contributions that I made towards his home that we lived in without my name on the deed?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nelson Craig Johnson
Nelson Craig Johnson
Answered
  • Cullman, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: You would likely be entitled to some portion of the value of the home based on the payments made on the home or improvements done to the home during the time of the marriage regardless of the name on the deed or mortgage. Approximately 50% of all payments made during the marriage or improvements made to the home during the marriage.

Alabama law views all income of a married couple as marital funds and when marital funds are used to make the payments or pay for improvements to an asset then the value of those payments or improvements will be split evenly between the two parties. That does not mean you are entitled to any value of the home prior to the marriage. Only 50% of those amounts paid during the marriage or improvement values during the marriage. (Possibly the appreciation of the home but that gets much more complicated if he owned the property before the marriage.)

The exception would be if he had a separate bank account in which he maintained non-martial funds (like an inheritance) and made all payments on the home or payments for improvements to the home out of that non-marital account. (almost no-one actually does this) If he was using non-marital funds to make payments and improvements to the home and he owned the home prior to the marriage it is entirely possible that a Court would still find that the value of the home is only his. I think you would still have an arguement that you are entitled to some portion of the value of the home, but it would be possible for a Court to find otherwise in this unlikely scenario.

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