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LADY LAWYER, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Family Law Attorney
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I live in the State of Wisconsin. It is marital property.

Resolved Question:

I live in the State of Wisconsin. It is marital property. When my 2ndhusband and I got married I owned the property that was awarded to me from my first husband. We have been married 18 years, Is he entitled to 1/2 of proceeds from the sale of the property?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LADY LAWYER replied 7 years ago.



Did you own the property outright when you got married to your second husband (was the house fully paid for)? Did your 2nd husband contribute to the mortgage, upkeep or maintenance of the home at all?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes I owned the property outright when I got married to my second husband and it was fully paid for. He did not have to contribute to a mortgage but did maintenance and upkeep of the home.
Expert:  LADY LAWYER replied 7 years ago.



Thank you. In WI, any property shown to have been acquired by either party prior to or during the course of the marriage in any of the following ways shall be considered that spouse's separate property:


1. As a gift from a person other than the other party;


2. By reason of the death of another, including, but not limited to, life insurance proceeds; payments made under a deferred employment benefit plan, or an individual retirement account; and property acquired by right of survivorship, by a trust distribution, by bequest or inheritance or by a payable on death or a transfer on death arrangement;


3. With funds acquired in one of the two manners above.


-From 767.255 of the Wisconsin Statutes.


Now, a spouse can argue that he or she had some equity in the other spouse's separate property if that spouse performed maintenance on the separate property or helped with the upkeep on the property. Unless there was some major renovation going on, it is likley that the court will not award the spouse any equity in your home or may award a nominal amount. If you have any more questions, I will be happy to answer them. Please accept my answer so I can receive credit for helping you. We can continue our conversation at no additional charge. Thanks!

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Will it make a difference if he is living in the home? I moved out to an apartment over my store because it didn't look like he was making any attempt at moving out. I have filled out all the papers for the divorce and received a Notice of Hearing which is for Wednesday December 2nd. It stipulates that this matter will not be adjourned by the court except upon formal motion for good cause or with the specific approval of the court upon stipulation by all parties. I was under the impression that because Wisconsin is a Marital property state that he was entitled to 1/2 of the proceeds from the property.

Expert:  LADY LAWYER replied 7 years ago.

No, it will not make a difference. And WI is an "equitable distribution" state--not a marital property state. Marital and Separate property are the types of property a person can have.


Most states employ "equitable distribution" in dividing marital (community) property as a result of the dissolution of marriage (divorce). Instead of a strict fifty-fifty split (in which each spouse receives exactly one-half of the marital or separate property), equitable distribution looks at the financial situation that each spouse will be in after the termination of the marriage. While equitable distribution is more flexible, it is harder to predict the actual outcome, since the various factors are subjectively weighed. Factors considered in equitable distribution include:

1. Earning power of the spouses (one might be much greater than the other)

2. Separate property of the spouses (one might be greater in value than the other)

3. One spouse having done all the work to acquire the property

4. The value that one spouse contributed as the home-maker for the family

5. Economic fault of one spouse in wasting and dissipating marital property

6. Duration of the marriage

7. Age and relative health of the spouses

8. The responsibility for providing for children of the marriage

9. Spousal abuse or marital infidelity (to penalize the offending spouse).


Your house will be considered separate property and will not be accounted for when dividing up the marital (community) property except as described above.

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