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How can a gifted asset before marriage become a joint asset…

Customer Question
How can a gifted...

How can a gifted asset before marriage become a joint asset after marriage?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Ny

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

Yes

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No thank you

Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
12/11/2017
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32,264
Experience: Lawyer
Verified

Hi,

I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

There are three ways a gift assets acquired prior to a marriage can become a joint asset. The first is if the spouse who received the gift added the other spouse's name, such as with a car or real estate. The second is if if the spouse combines the asset with marital assets, such as by putting a cash sum into a joint checking account. Commingling can convert an asset without the spouse who does so necessarily intending to give up part of their share.

Alternatively, the spouses could write either a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement that discusses how to handle assets either of them owned before the marriage. Those agreements are binding as long as voluntarily signed by each spouse.

Please let me know if none of those scenarios apply, and I may be able to provide more information.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thank you very much for your response. I am digesting it and would appreciate any cases of law that you could find to substantiate your opinion.
Lawyer: Lucy, Esq., Attorney replied 6 months ago

Because of the time involved in finding cases, case law research is a premium service that carries an additional fee. If you are willing to pay upfront an additional $75, I'll see what I can find. There is never any guarantee that we'll find the cases, because (a) the vast majority of cases aren't reported and (b) these are general legal principles dating back decades. Courts don't always repeat them.

For example, a post-nuptial agreement is a contract. Contracts are binding on the parties who sign them. That's a concept established back in the 1600s by the English courts and carried to the colonies. Similarly, I've never seen a case where someone disputed that a person who received a gift became the owner, because that's something most people simply accept. Even if I spent hours researching those two things, I can't promise I'd find a case where a court said either of them.

The NYC bar has an article explaining what post-nuptial agreements are, which could be helpful.

http://www.nycbar.org/get-legal-help/article/family-law/marital-agreements/postnuptial-agreements/

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