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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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This question is for., I was talking to my dad tonight and

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This question is for Doug.Hi Doug,I was talking to my dad tonight and he reminded me that my dad, my mother and I signed a Purchase and Sales Agreement PRIOR to my wife and I getting married. In the agreement, it was stated that my mother and father were each giving me (my wife was not included in the agreement) a $14k gift of equity. Do you think that would carry any weight in court if I wanted to get the full $28k back and split the remainder of either the profit from the sale or the remainder of the equity should she but me out and refinance in her own name? Or do you think that because we did the closing after we married that it doesn't matter?In case you don't remember, I'm the guy who had all the questions about if it was possible that my wife could be awarded the condo and not have to buy me out. Just started a new thread so I could get you another bonus.Thanks again Doug.Mike

Good evening,

Of course, I remember you. I'm glad to help. If part of the equity in the home was given to you, either as a personal gift after marriage, or before, that portion of the equity remains your personal property and will be yours in the divorce. So yes, the $28,000 will remain yours even through the divorce!

The down payment you made before marriage (even if it was a gift to you from your folks), the increase in equity attributable to that down payment and all mortgage principal payments before marriage would be your personal property.

All equity increases attributable to the paying down of the principal via the mortgage payments, any increase in equity referable to improvements made during the marriage and all growth in equity attributable to those payments/improvements would be considered marital property and dividable between the two of you on divorce.

A rough estimate might go like this. If you bought the house for $200,000 and put$20,000 down and the house is now worth $300,000----out of the equity you would get the $20,000, plus about $10,000 for the 50% increase in home value. That would leave $70,000 in increase that would be marital and of that you would get roughly half---or another $35,000---giving you $65,000 of the $100,000 equity in a divorce.

You may reply to me again if you have additional questions, and I will be happy to continue to assist you.

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I wish you and yours well in 2017,


LawTalk and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
That's great news! Thanks again for all your help!