Q: My husband inherited a house from his mother. He added my name to the deed. We are now going to get a divorce.
Do I have a claim to the house
Generally speaking, an inheritance will remain someone's separate property in Virginia. However, the property may become marital under certain circumstances. Adding your name to the title may or may not be enough to make the property marital. It would depend on other details, like the way the deed is written, whether your spouse had the intention to create a gift, whether you have a premarital agreement, among other details.
In order to fully answer your question, an attorney would need the specific details of your case, which should be discussed in a confidential setting.
Please feel free to contact my office at (703) 883-0880 for more information.
Property received by gift or inheritance during the marriage start as separate property. Separate property may be transmuted into marital property by certain actions that cause it to lose its character as separate property, such as the commingling of funds. Property may also be classified as hybrid property or part separate and part marital. To the extent that the property is maintained with marital funds and appreciates, and/or the mortgage is paid down with marital funds, or the value of the property is improved by the significant efforts of a spouse, some portion of it may become marital property. Generally, income earned during the marriage is considered to be marital property, unless such income represents a passive gain on separate property.
Any spouse with questions about the possible classification of property as marital, separate, or hybrid, should consult with an experienced Virginia divorce lawyer.
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