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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41597
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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My husband owns separate property and now that i have

Customer Question

My husband owns separate property and now that i have threatened a divorce he quitclaimed the deed to his parents and had the loan refinanced into their name. It is my understanding that although it was separate property before marriage, dont i have rights to equity on this property after marriage? what can I do if the property is now in his parents name?
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: az
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: not yet
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: i put down a large sum of cash to purchase our marital home prior to getting married. am i entitled to get that back or will i have to divide it with him?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.

Regarding the home you can trace that you put separate money into the community property and deserve to be reimbursed prior to division or an offset for these funds in any settlement.As far as the separate properties here , if you quit claimed them to him and they were in his name you may have trouble asserting a claim to them unless community funds were used to make payments.In that case again offset or reimbursement may be appropriate.You may want to get your own lawyer early ehre knowing there is much to dispute and your husband may have stashed other assets you aren't aware of.

You have such rights of offset/reimbursement as part of Arizona property division here.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No the separate property was his that he bought prior to our marriage. And in order to avoid having to pay me any Equity from this property he quit claimed it to his parents. Will I be entitled to receive any Equity out of this home from the time that we were married until divorce?
Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.

The answer is maybe if you contributed funds to it.Arizona does not require the division of marital property in divorce to be exactly equal, but it must be fair and will usually be approximately equal.

There is a strong presumption under Arizona law that all assets and debts a couple accumulates during marriage are community (marital) property. Property one spouse owned alone before the marriage, or acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage, is that spouse’s separate property, as long as that spouse can prove the claim with financial records or other documents.

Spouses may change an asset that was originally separate property into community property, or vice versa. For example, if a spouse who was the sole owner of the family home before the marriage changes the title to community property, a court would consider this evidence that the owner intended to make a "gift" of the home to the marital community.

Sometimes a spouse changes a separate asset into a community asset without meaning to by combining—or "commingling"—separate property with marital property. A premarital bank account belonging to one spouse can become marital property if the other spouse makes deposits to it; a house owned by one spouse alone can become marital property (either in whole or in part) if both spouses pay the mortgage and other expenses. Many types of assets can be partially community and partially separate, including retirement accounts one spouse contributed to both before and after the marriage, or a business one spouse started before marriage and continued operating after marriage.

Distinguishing community property from separate property can become very complicated, especially if one spouse owns a business or other asset to which the other contributed labor or funds during the marriage. If you have a complex property situation, you may need to consult an attorney for advice. Spouses who can’t decide what belongs to whom will have to let a court decide whether commingled property was a gift to the marriage or whether the original owner should be reimbursed in whole or in part.

If you are unable to reach agreement here you may take your changes with your lawyer and the judge.

Expert:  Ray replied 7 months ago.

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I would say all of this is on the table.You may also uncover other assets if he has secreted them away during the divorce.Your lawyer may seek at least some reimbursement here.

I appreciate the chance to help you and wish you the best here.Community property here in Arizona is not strictly 50-50% so you may claim reimbursement at least for what you put in.

If you can positive rate 5 stars when we are done it is much appreciated.