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LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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My friends husband inherited land and they built a home on

Customer Question

My friends husband inherited land and they built a home on this land, now they are divorcing, does she have any right to the property after 40 yrs of marriage?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 3 months ago.

The court will classify the property as separate or marital and will divide marital property in an equitable division manner. Here is the statute:

Also please see:

for how the court will classify property.

Basically property acquired prior to marriage, or via inheritance at any point, is separate. However, if it is deemed that the inheriting spouse gifting property during the marriage, that converts the property to marital; similarly if the property involves the family residence, and the land is improved during marriage, and it is a long term marriage, the courts are more likely to assume that a gift was intended.

The income and property of each spouse at the time of the marriage, and at the time of the divorce;
The length of the marriage and the age and health of both spouses;
If there are minor children involved, the need of the spouse who has custody of the children to live in the marital residence and to use or own its household contents;
The loss of inheritance and pension rights of each spouse because of the divorce;
The loss of health insurance benefits of each spouse because of the divorce;
Any award of support or maintenance the court will be making;
Whether one spouse made contributions to marital property that the spouse does not have title to; for example, where one spouse helps the other spouse increase their ability to earn more money by getting a degree, license or certification;
The liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property (“liquid” means that the property can easily be converted to cash);
The probable future financial circumstances of each party;
The impossibility or difficulty of determining the value of certain assets, like interests in a business, and whether one spouse should be awarded the business so it can be run without interference by the other spouse;
The tax consequences to each party;
Whether either spouse has wasted or used up any of the marital property while the divorce was ongoing;
Whether either spouse transferred or disposed of marital property at less than market value, knowing that the divorce would be happening;
any other factor the court deems relevant.

So as you can see, the individual judge assigned to the case has great discretion, so it is difficult to predict in advance what the judge may rule. An attorney that is familiar with the particular judge may be better able to provide an estimation based on the judge's past rulings.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 3 months ago.

checking in on the above; thanks for using Just Answer!

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