Q: Married 5 years. Husband put name on deed after 1 year of marriage. Is there a case that shows a spouse is entitled?
Separated after 4 years 8 months. Is spouse entitled to 50 percent? Is there any case law showing someone receiving a percentage? The house was the husband's previously but wife helped with remodeling.
A: This case will be arguable from several different perspectives. The original owner of the property may wish to argue it is still mostly separate property (up to the value at the time of marriage or the revision to the deed). The spouse has an argument that the property is now marital being evidenced by being added to the deed as a joint tenant. The outcome will depend on the answers to other questions such as, why was spouse #2 added to the deed in the first place. How much were the renovations? Were separate funds or marital funds used for the renovations? At a minimum, the parties will need to conduct a new appraisal to determine not only the current value of the property but the amount of active appreciation since the time of marriage. 1/2 of that amount is very likely to be awarded to spouse #2.
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